February 11, 2022 | SPORTS | By Samwel Makyao
Aidan Richter ’25 is one of the divers on the CC Dive Swim and Dive team. He lives in Seattle, and plays the guitar and skis. In his free time, you will catch him making music or cracking jokes with friends. Prior to attending CC, Aidan took part in competitive cheerleading, trampoline, and tumbling. We met with Aidan in Tutt Library and talked about his exemplary Diving career at CC. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Samwel Makyao: What led you to dive competitively at CC?
Aidan Richter: “I chose CC because of the block plan and its comprehensive diving program. I have had a lot of flipping experience from tumbling and cheerleading, so diving was the natural sport that I could do. Apart from that, I was also my high school’s swimming and diving team captain, so I just figured I should continue with this path here at CC.”
Makyao: How does it feel to represent the Tigers?
Richter: “I would say it feels good. I am addicted to flips, so I love the adrenaline, especially with people watching and representing the school. It adds the importance of what I am doing.”
Makyao: What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
Richter: “Well, I would like to declare a major; I don’t know what yet, but I would like to declare a major and graduate. That’d be so cool. I hope that one day to beat the school diving record, have a good time, and see where life takes me.”
Makyao: What drives you to be the best?
Richter: “I would say I hold myself to a high standard which is a good and bad thing. On the one hand, it’s important if you want to be good at something that you don’t settle for anything less, but on the other hand, it makes me hard on myself sometimes. This somehow makes diving less fun because I am critical of myself. However, at the end of the day, that’s why I do it. I am addicted to flips and love the adrenaline of being in the air. I don’t do it because I want to go to the Olympics. I do it because I want to be the best.”
Makyao: Speaking of the Olympics, can you name one tournament you would love to participate in one day?
Richter: “This is not necessarily a tournament and might not relate to the question, but I would love to be a part of the Cirque du Soleil. It’s a Canadian Entertainment company and the largest contemporary circus producer in the world.”
Makyao: Who is your idol, and what gives you the most inspiration? Have you ever had an opportunity to meet them?
Richter: “I would say my favorite diver, Jack Laugher. He’s a Great Britain springboard diver. I feel he has it all down. In my flip career, I like Aaron Michael. He is a powerful tumbler and the first person to land after a double backflip. I had the chance to meet him last year at the Cheerleading Worlds event, but I barely missed it because I showed up late. I tried asking for his number from one of the organizers because I really wanted to meet him, but I could not. I hope one day I will, though.”
Makyao: What is your favorite pump-up song?
Richter: “I would say during practice I like to listen to something like the basic party music you hear. But I have this routine every time I am going to compete, which is before I stretch; I listen to “Tool”; they are a rock band. I love them. Their music makes me feel relaxed and focused.”
Makyao: How long can you hold your breath for in the water?
Richter: “Diving doesn’t require you to hold your breath because you go down and up. And you can do that pretty fast, so I would say I can only hold for ten seconds.”
Makyao: What is the most remarkable diving experience that you will never forget?
Richter: “There was this boy called Alex in high school who we always competed with and were pretty good at diving. So, you will find that he will win one competition and I will win the next one. It was like that for a while. One time in my last competition in high school, I thought I was losing the whole time to him, but then at the end, when the scores were calculated, I pulled through, and he was just like, ‘good job, buddy,’ and then hugged. It was so memorable.”
Makyao: What is your favorite go-to snack before or after diving?
Richter: “Many people are worried that they will regurgitate food because of the flips in the air, but I would say I am acclimated. I can eat a lot of food and still do flips without any problems. My favorite snack is trail mix.”
Makyao: Imagine you have just won a certain competition and set a record, your favorite song is playing, what would be your go-to dance?
Richter: “I am not an actual dancer, but I try to be. I think one thing that I would do is an ‘air instrument.’ This is the kind of dance that you act as if you are playing an instrument, but you are not.”