Interview: Cliff diver has been stuck in New Zealand for 17 months

Interview: Cliff diver has been stuck in New Zealand for 17 months

She began her career on a ten-meter-high wooden tower in Amersee – today Iris Schmidbauer is considered Germany’s best cliff diver. She was stuck in New Zealand for 17 months.

Ms SchmidbauerYou jumped off the cliff today?

Iris Schmidbauer: No, that would be very time consuming and dangerous. If I jump into the sea from a height of 17 or 21 meters, I must be absolutely sure, I must evaluate the site and the borehole and have a safe diver in the water who intervenes immediately in the event of an emergency. I am doing my training jump in the hall of the ten meter high tower. I was going to have three and a half hours of training at the Auckland diving pool here in New Zealand today, but the pool’s water pump failed and the pool was shut down. Then just strength training.

Because of Corona, Schmidbauer cannot go to Germany

you were living in New ZealandVoluntarily at first, then forcibly. How did this happen?

Schmidbauer: I traveled through New Zealand after the 2019 season, wanted to stay a little longer and came to Auckland, where I started training with the club. I took a room in a shared apartment for a few months until the start of the 2020 season, then I wanted to go back to Germany. Then it came Corona. Going back to Germany means I will not go back to New Zealand due to strict entry restrictions. Now I’m still in my room, stuck here.

Iris Schmidbauer finished eighth in the World Championships thanks to a triple flip back with a double twist.

Photo: Stephan Jansen, Dr.

Concerts are held in New Zealand, restaurants and cinemas are open

How they did Corona at New Zealand Is testing?

Schmidbauer: There was a strict lockdown in March and April. It was tough because I was home alone. I sat in my little room for weeks trying to stay in shape with exercise. Every now and then I go out briefly, climb trees, do flip flops in the park or teach myself a skateboard in the parking lot. There has been a loosening since the end of April. Today life is as good as the infinite, concerts are held, restaurants are open and you can meet people. So far, there have been 25 deaths due to Corona across the country.

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Your work visa has expired, and you applied for another visa, but it was actually rejected once.

Schmidbauer: So far I have worked as a sports therapist and personal trainer to finance my sport. Now that is over, now I can just wait, hopefully for a visa and a train. This involuntary forgetfulness and uncertainty bothers me. But somehow it works. I have a lot of supporters from my sporting community here who have written letters to convince the authorities that it would be nice for me to continue living and training here. And Red Bull pays me a lawyer.

Schmidbauer survives from money her grandparents send her

Does this mean that you are now living on bail money alone?

Schmidbauer: Haha, it would be nice. In my sport, there are no sponsors except for superstars. I live very cheap, however, I am paying 600 € in rent and 180 € in training fees per month. I’m backed by Australian swimwear company Budgy Smuggler – with seven or eight swimsuits a year. Otherwise, my grandparents send me money so I can work so that I can go back to work.

Your last competition was in 2019, don’t you get discouraged?

Schmidbauer: I have no problems motivating myself. I might be training more than ever. Six times a week, always three to five hours. He jumps from the tower, on the trampoline, practices in the weight room. I am really excited that the competitions will continue, but it is not clear yet when and where the next competition will take place. Jumping in front of 80,000 spectators is an indescribable feeling. Nothing has been decided yet, of course, but I’ve heard the 2021 Season Finals of the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series might be coming to Auckland, so I really want to be there, almost as a local.

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I entered the sport late.

Schmidbauer: I didn’t really start jumping until I was 19. Before that, I only trained once a week in Munich, which is about 45 kilometers from Bale, where I grew up. I was lucky enough to have it Amersee There is a ten meter tall wooden tower that I can train from in summer. I think I first went to a fitness center when I was around 20 years old. Since then I have not been able to let go. These two seconds in the air are the reward for all your efforts. When I get up after a good jump, that’s the greatest happiness in the world.

Schmidbauer’s best jump only has two other hops in the world

what do you like about it?

Schmidbauer: Complexity! The right jump, carefully planned dance in the air, and finally the plunge at 75 kilometers per hour in the water, which can be as solid as concrete. I like to stand barefoot on a rock and totally feel nature. Indoor scuba diving is fine, but I prefer wild, as I jump into the sea from a real cliff. My hardest jump, double twist back triple somersault, I only have other players in the world apart from me.

Surely this is prone to injury?

Schmidbauer: Not really, preparation is everything. But when something happens, it hurts a lot. In 2015 I was “frightened” in the air and then hit my back after twenty meters. I managed to swim to the bank on my own. I had some lacerations on my back, and had to spit out blood because some of the alveoli burst on impact and I had a stroke. Otherwise, everything was fine.

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