Last year, two divers from the Philippines gained international attention for reasons far from what they initially hoped.
John David Pahoyo and teammate John Elmerson Fabriga were both representing their home country for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games — the perfect venue to showcase their abilities against the best divers in the Asian region.
Things didn’t go as planned, however, as the two divers failed to impress the judges, (and the millions who watched their performances after the video went viral), with their individual dives.
From the diving board, a calm Pahoyo bounced two times before hurling himself into the air. During his jump, he tucked his legs while on a mid-air spin, and tried a twisting backflip. With his feet landing first in the water, he earned a unanimous zero or “nil” from the judges.
Fabriga, who dove next, made an unfortunate and unsightly flat landing on his back, earning the same low score of collective zeroes.
After the video went viral, the two top divers from the Philippines received some of the most unflattering criticisms from local and international sports fans alike. No less than ESPN called their performance as “the two worst high dives you will ever see.”
That was a year ago. However, thanks to the Rio Olympics, the world is once again reminded of their memorable moment in the history of sports.
If you haven’t watched this yet you’ll be asking yourself how did they not qualify for the 16 Rio Games. https://t.co/EgkgzMRyVa
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) August 10, 2016
It is important to note that, in the midst of the mockery and ridicule the duo received during the incident, they remained such great sports and handled the embarrassing aftermath pretty well.
Right after their infamous dive, Pahoyo posted on Facebook addressing the issue, fully aware that he didn’t do that well:
“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***ier than what i did during the training. But at least it was a nice experience. Great crowd, great people. I can actually tell myself that i overcame the extraordinary.”
In response to their video he also commented:
“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 such a 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?”
While the duo did not make it to Rio this year, they have already made their mark in the minds of sports fans being totally class acts.