J.D. Pahoyo, a 17-year-old diver from the Philippines, got a 0.0 score on a dive in the 3m individual springboard competition at the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. His countryman and synchronised diving partner John Elmerson Fabriga also got 0.0 on a dive. They finished last and second to last in the competition.
Video of the dual failed dives quickly made its way around the internet, often under the headline of something like “the worst dives you’ll ever see.”
Pahoyo landed feet-first:
Fabriga landed on his back:
In the Filipino sports world, the “Splash Brothers” are causing something of an uproar, with various interests using the divers to address larger institutional issues. Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia said he would demand an explanation from the head of the country’s aquatics program, and questioned whether the divers intentionally blew the dives. The ex-president of the Philippine Olympic Committee said the dives were a sign that Filipino sports have become “a joke.” The head of the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association used the poor performance as proof that he needed more funding and upgraded facilities.
“We always like it to be better, but maybe it should teach a lesson to everybody that if you don’t invest … don’t expect,” he said.
One person who very much is not freaking out about one awful dive: JD Pahoyo himself.
In the days after what should be the most devastating embarrassment of his career, he has been pretty upbeat in a series of Facebook posts.
Before the dive went viral, Pahoyo wrote a very matter-of-fact update on how bad he was:
“This was the first time I felt this great intense pressure. Hooo, one event is over. One more to go. I failed one dive and the rest of my dives were sh****** than what i did during the training. But atleast it was a nice experience. Great crowd, great people. I can actually tell myself that i overcame the extraordinary”
Two days later he returned to Facebook with a more positive update. He posted a video of him and Fabriga doing some well executed dives in the 3m springboard synchro event, and wrote about how happy he was:
Yey! I’m so proud of us pakner John Fabriga, we really did our best despite of we just practiced this synchro dives for just 4 days, even though we failed to win, but atleast we did overcame what we once knew was out limit, and that makes us a champion. Thanks coach Brian Palattao for your endless support and immeasurable love to us from the preparation until the end of this competition, and special thanks to the people who’s doing their best to make this experience possible, I owe you all of this
Yey! I’m so proud of us pakner John Fabriga, we really did our best despite of we just practiced this synchro dives for just 4 days, even though we failed to win, but atleast we did overcame what we once knew was out limit, and that makes us a champion <3 Thanks coach Brian Palattao for your endless support and immeasurable love to us from the preparation until the end of this competition, and special thanks to the people who’s doing their best to make this experience possible, I owe you all of this :) #SG2015 #SEA #Games #Singapore #Diving #Pilipinas
Posted by JD Pahoyo on Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Later that day he realised what was happening:
When another Facebook page posted the video of his failed dive, he left a comment saying all he could do is laugh at himself, and he’s still happy he competed:
“I even laughed at myself after i did this dive hehe. but after all this was not the first time i failed a dive, and i was not the first one who did so. And I am still proud because not all of us has the privilege to represent our own country to sucha big sporting event like this. And by the way can i ask all of you if you can still smile after getting embarrassed in front of thousands of people? hehe just asking, right?”
He directed all his new followers to his good dives:
As sports officials continue to debate the controversy, he has moved on:
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