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RecWell dives feet first into Ski U Drop

Students had the chance to jump off the diving platforms at the Thursday event.
Image by Amelia Roessler
Ski U Drop was free and open to students and the public to take their turn on the different diving platforms.

Ski U Drop gave University of Minnesota students an opportunity Thursday to jump off the one-, five-, seven- and 10-meter platforms at the University’s Recreation and Wellness Center. 

The event is an opportunity for students to experience jumping off the dive platforms into the pool, something not generally open to the public or student body. 

Ski U Drop started in 2017 as an open dive, similar to the not-well-attended open swim but with a diving component, according to Joslyn Klitzkie, the Aquatic Center’s event program assistant and private lesson and community events program assistant at the Gopher Swim School. 

Klitzkie said this is the first time the event was held in the spring, as it is usually an event exclusive to the fall. 

“We normally do it during homecoming, but since we had such a big turnout we decided to do another one in the spring,” Klitzkie said. 

According to Klitzkie, her favorite part is watching people overcome their fear. 

“It’s really fun seeing the people that are scared to jump off the 10-meter and they do it at the end and they are so proud,” Klitzkie said. 

In previous years, participants paid a $5 entrance fee and got a t-shirt. Now, the event is free and t-shirts are awarded to those who jump off the 10-meter platform, according to Klitzkie. 

Bryna McElligott, the assistant director of aquatics, said when the event first started, around 50 people showed up. Around 200 people attended the event on Thursday. 

“People just get really jazzed to jump off the 10-meter,” McElligott said. 

With the increased attendance, McElligott said the biggest learning curve was figuring out how to staff the event so there were no long lines. Three to four lifeguards and three to four Gopher Swim School staff worked the event. 

“It’s cool because there’s a lot of kids that come in that don’t typically come into the pool area, so I think that’s a really awesome part of it,” McElligott said. “You’re getting more people in that normally wouldn’t come to lap swim or come to a swim meet.”

McElligott added that students were required to take a brief swim test, swimming 25 yards to prove they could swim to the wall after they jumped. 

Second-year students Nick Hinds and Stephen Schneider both jumped off the 10-meter platform and said that while it “hurt a little bit,” it was fun. 

“I can’t jump off the platform normally, so it’s the only place that I can do it,” Hinds said. 

Hinds said his favorite part was looking down and seeing the water, while Schneider said he enjoyed the adrenaline rush. 

MJ Florkey and Olivia Succio, both first-year students and members of the University synchronized swim team, also jumped off two different platforms. 

“We’re both synchronized and then we saw the thing and we’re like, we’ve always wanted to jump off the platform,” Florkey said. 

Florkey added she was a little nervous to jump off the platforms but encouraged participants to face their fears. 

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