Résumé: Won the Acapulco Cliff Diving World Championships in March; finished fourth in the 2010 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series; earned NCAA All-America diving honors at Princeton in 2005 and 2006. Majored in art and archaeology, with a certificate in visual arts.
To most people, leaping off an 85-foot-high platform into a pool of water seems ludicrous. Add a couple of flips or twists, and it becomes unthinkable. But for Kent DeMond ’07, it’s all in a day’s work. DeMond began his high-diving career in 2004 as a summer performer at an Indiana water park, and for the last three years, he has competed for prize money at events around the globe where he dives off a cliff or from a platform, sometimes constructed on the cliff itself. Consistent rehearsals help to take some of the fear out of jumping from extraordinary heights. “It’s still definitely terrifying,” DeMond says, “but when you’ve done it a hundred times, you have confidence that you can piece it together.”
THINKING OUTSIDE THE POOL
DeMond comes from a family of divers (sister Michelle ’07 also was an All-American at Princeton), and in high school and college, he says, competitive diving meant weekends split between the pool and a hotel room. All the pools looked the same, whether you were in Atlanta or Albuquerque. In cliff diving, however, no two venues are alike. Last year, DeMond dived from a rocky crag in Acapulco, the balcony of a seaside home in southern Italy, and a 14th-century tower in La Rochelle, France, where 40,000 fans gathered to watch. Adapting to different surroundings is challenging, he says, but the festive atmosphere makes diving fun for the competitors.
FROM THE PLATFORM TO THE SCREEN
DeMond has starred in diving shows in China, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai. He has a steady gig at Sea World in San Diego, providing entertainment between the segments of the whale and dolphin shows. One of his childhood dreams was to be a movie stuntman — an ambition he still hopes to realize. Last year, he starred in a General Electric TV ad, which enabled him to join the Screen Actors Guild. DeMond studied film as an art and archaeology major at Princeton, and in the long term, he plans to work behind the scenes in the movie business.