Asia

Rio 2016: Olympic divers swoop into plastic cup in viral gif viewed millions of times

Aisen Chen and Yue Lin of China compete in the Men's Diving Synchronised 10m Platform Final Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The two Chinese Olympic divers were part of the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform contest

When Chris Nik first saw a video of two Olympic divers' precision entry into a pool, his first thought was that it was so perfectly executed they could have "probably dived into cups".

So he took that thought and tried to bring it a step closer to reality.

He created an animated gif showing two Chinese divers jumping off the 10m-high diving board but ending up in two plastic cups. In less than a day it gathered more than 9 million views on image sharing website, Imgur.

The eight-second clip features China's Chen Aisen and Lin Yue, who both won Olympic gold for the 10-metre synchronised diving event.

The response to the gif has been completely "mind blowing", Mr Nik told the BBC.

"I first thought of the idea when I saw them jumping so perfectly," Mr Nik told the BBC. "So I challenged myself to see if I could do just that."

Image copyright Imgur/Chris Nik
Image caption And off they go!
Image copyright Imgur/Chris Nik
Image caption Into the water...
Image copyright Imgur/Chris Nik
Image caption ...And they're out!

On Imgur the image was met with enthusiasm.

"Their dive is amazing. The amount of effort you put into making this is amazing. Me? I got out of bed before noon today" said one commenter on Imgur.

"I've watched this gif for ten minutes," said another.

Mr Nik says it was "insane when I saw the views keep going up higher than I expected".

"I was actually talking to some friends earlier tonight and I was talking about the gif and they told me they had already seen it. They didn't believe me at first when I told them I was the one who made it!"

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption China's Chen Aisen and Lin Yue both walked away with a gold medal after their outstanding performance

The International Olympic Committee has prohibited news organisations from creating Olympic content into gifs - we are not reproducing the short animation here.

An IOC guideline for news outlets stated that the "use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated gifs, GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited".

The rule is meant to protect broadcasters by getting viewers to tune in for official Olympic broadcasts, instead of getting the content online.

Mr Nik says that for him "seeing a GIF doesn't satisfy my need for content, I'm not any less likely to want to watch the full video".

However, looking ahead, Mr Nik hopes to continue making more gifs that spread good cheer.

"It doesn't take any secret special skill to make a gif, but the big question is finding something that inspires you and that you know will make people laugh."

Reporting by the BBC's Yvette Tan.

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