Metropolitan State University student Joe Diefenbach didn’t just show up to the annual Belly Flop Contest at Water World; he came to win.
Sure enough, competing as his alter ego, “Super Joe,” Diefenbach made his way to the top, beating out 20 other college students who also sacrificed their bellies in the name of a good splash.
“After my third jump, I thought it turned out pretty well,” he said. “I’m pretty excited to have won.”
The event on June 27 was sponsored by Water World and College in Colorado, a free, comprehensive website dedicated to providing adults and students with information about career exploration and higher education.
As the top winner overall, Diefenbach went home with a $1,000 scholarship, a laptop provided by College in Colorado and summer concert tickets from The Wolf radio station.
“This scholarship will really help pay for school,” Diefenbach said. “Paying for school hurts more than a belly flop.”
All of the floppers really had to shine on the platform during the contest to impress judge Darren Taylor, also known as Professor Splash. Taylor, from Colorado, has more than 25 years of professional high-diving experience and has traveled the world breaking world records. In 2008, he made a record splash at Water World. As a judge, he said the No. 1 thing he’s looking for is a good splash. But he’s also looking for a flat body and a great splash sound.
“The best part is seeing their faces when they get out of the water,” Taylor said. “If they have a rough look on their faces, you know they had a good flop.”
Emily Duffel, a University of Denver student, was the top female competitor. She also went home with a $1,000 scholarship and a laptop provided by College in Colorado. The second-place male and female each took home a $750 scholarship, and the third-place male and female each took home a $500 scholarship.
“This is such a great event because of the collaboration of Water World and College in Colorado,” said Joann Cortez, with Water World.
“The event brings great attention to Water World, which brings more people and revenue. And all the money we make goes right back into community programs.”