Wu Minxia (CHN)
Honor Diver (2023)
FOR THE RECORD: 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (3-meter synchronized); 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (3-meter, 3-meter synchronized); 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (3-meter synchronized), bronze (3-meter); 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (3-meter synchronized), silver (3-meter); 2015 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter synchronized); 2013 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter synchronized); 2011 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter, 3-meter synchronized); 2009 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter synchronized), silver (1-meter); 2007 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter synchronized), silver (3-meter); 2005 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (1-meter), silver (3-meter); 2003 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter synchronized), bronze (3-meter); 2001 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3-meter synchronized) silver (1-meter); DIVING WORLD SERIES: gold: 31, silver: 5, bronze: 3; DIVING GRAND PRIXS: gold: 23, silver: 12, bonze: 2; DIVING WORLD CUP: gold: 9, silver: 4, bronze: 1; ASIAN GAMES: gold: 4, silver: 2.
Wu Minxia was born in Shanghai and became a diver when she was noticed by a diving coach because of her physique when they were selecting athletes in her kindergarten. As a child she watched the Olympic Games on television and decided then that she wanted to become a world-class diver.
She began to attract attention in 1999 at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in her home country, when she took silver as a 13-year-old, in the 1-meter springboard event. She went on to win events at other competitions but was perhaps best known for her four Olympic performances. Wu made her first Olympics appearance at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. She partnered with ISHOF Honoree, Guo Jingjing in the synchronized 3-meter springboard, where she won her first Olympic gold medal. Wu also won the silver medal in the 3-meter springboard individual event, placing behind Guo.
At the next Olympic Games, in 2008, Wu and Guo were able to perform before a home crowd in Beijing, and easily won their second gold medal as partners on the 3-meter in the synchronized springboard event. In the individual 3-meter springboard, Wu again placed behind Guo, this time taking the bronze.
For years Wu was hidden in the shadow of Guo Jingjing, who had practically an unbeatable record of four Olympic gold medals. Wu had waited for years before Guo retired in January of 2011. She then asserted her supremacy in world diving. She swept synchro and individual springboard golds at the Shanghai World Championships and all the titles of the various World events for the next two years. Wu had to find a new partner in He Zi, to replace Guo Jingjing. At the 2012 London Games, she and He went in as favorites and came away with the gold.
For the third time in the Olympic 3-meter synchronized springboard, Wu won gold. In doing so, Wu became the first woman to win the same diving event in three consecutive Olympic Games.
And for the very first time, Wu was able to take the top spot in the individual springboard event at the London Games – which was what she wanted most ~ to prove her dominance and win the individual event on her own. By winning the 3-meter event, it made her the most decorated diver in Olympic history.
Her final Olympic Games came in Rio in 2016, where Wu won her fourth consecutive gold medal in the Olympic synchronized 3-meter springboard event. She and her third partner, Shi Taoming finished the event with more than 30 points more than the silver medalists. With this win, Wu had earned seven career medals, a feat that was unmatched in Chinese Olympic history.
Wu participated in other competitions besides the Olympics. She was the only diver in the history of the FINA World Championships to win seven gold medals in the synchronized 3-meter springboard. She was also a talent on the 1-meter springboard, winning a flurry of medals on the lower board as well. Wu was named the FINA Athlete of the Year in the female diving category in 2011 and 2012. She retired from competitive diving in late 2016.