With nine world championship titles and two Guinness world records to his name, Orlando Duque needs little introduction.
Duque, the clear favourite for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2010, will be looking to defend the title he won so impressively last season.
With four podium finishes – one second and three first place results – in the first half of the 2009 season, he left the rest trailing. A minor injury sustained during a training dive in Germany was a mere chink in the Colombian's otherwise impregnable armour and, though it offered hope to challengers Gary Hunt and Artem Silchenko, Duque was once more crowned champion.
After more than a decade of Olympic diving, the 35-year-old switched to what he calls 'the more natural form of diving' in 1995. He subsequently improved his already considerable skills, helped by the coaching of Ken Grove, a former Olympic diver and now one of the series’ judges.
In Duque's first world championships in 1999 he took second place and so began his hugely successful cliff diving career – the highlight of which saw him become World Series Champion at last year's final stop in Athens, Greece.
For a decorated athlete who now resides in Hawaii, Duque is nothing if not relaxed. With success comes self-assurance. But his focus is undeniable. The king of cliff diving has his eyes on title number 10...
For more on daredevil Duque, visit www.9dives.com