The High Life

“There’s danger, but this doesn’t make us reckless.” The female radicals of the competitive diving world on learning to befriend their most poisonous fears

By Anna Hart

“I would never call myself an adrenaline junkie,” said Ellie Smart, a professional high diver and Red Bull cliff diver. The 25-year-old is the youngest professional high diver representing the United States. At the time of writing, she is in Turks and Caicos where she and her boyfriend, the 20-year-old high diver Owen Weymouth, are producing a travel docu-series.

“The idea that I’m some sort of fearless woman is totally wrong. I don’t bungee jump or skydive, and I’m scared of water if I can’t see the bottom, because I’m completely terrified of fish. I take calculated risks that the average person would not take. What makes a high diver is the ability to overcome fear; this is what we all share.”

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