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June 17, 2023

Amazing Footage of Dana Kunze’s 172ft World Record Dive in 1983

Dana Kunze is an American champion high-diver. He began his professional high diving career in 1974 at the age of 13. Kunze won his first world championship in 1977 and maintained a winning streak for seven years.

In 1983, Dana Kunze made history, successfully diving from 172 feet, the equivalent of diving off a 17 story building, live on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and this video captures the actual event.

Interestingly, he not only successfully completed the dive but also demonstrated impeccable form. It truly showcases his remarkable skill, courage, and hard work. He dived from a small platform at a height of 172ft (52.4m) into the water below.

Super High Diving was the original extreme sport, watched by millions on primetime TV throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and Kunze led an extreme life enjoying all the fame and fortune that came with being the High Dive King. But then some gruesome accidents led to the TV networks dropping the coverage and interest waned. Kunze’s high life disappeared. 

Dana Kunze during a dive

In 1985 after a decade of competing on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and performing thousands of live shows, Dana Kunze opened Watershow Productions Incorporated and with the same determination that made him an 8-time world champion, he created new shows and incorporated original “themes” into what had previously been a standard style of show.

Kunze’s one of a kind expertise with heights and stunts would become even more valuable when he and Tom Sailor created the World’s First Bungee Diving show –  “Bungee Dive Spectacular.” Their creation would be featured all over the world and spinoff the popular rides “Skycoaster” and “The Catapult” seen at most Amusement Parks and State Fairs today.

Kunze now spends most of his time producing, creating, coaching and selling the shows, but he still dives from time to time. He was inducted into the World Acrobatic Society’s Gallery of Legends in a Las Vegas celebration in 2011 and competed on America’s Got Talent with a 10 performer team of divers in 2013.


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