Watch below Cătălin Preda’s jump from the final of the Paris stage of the Red Bull Cliff Diving 2022 World Championships:
The winning jump at Cătălin Preda from Paris 2022
Cătălin made his debut as Wild Card (guest editor) at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2018, at Mostar Theatre. Three and a half years later, he is a permanent diver in the 2022 season and one of the strongest competitors.
Receive your victory in Paris with tears of joy. Why were you so excited?
I went through four jumps on the Paris stage in which I only got 9 and 10 jury marks. That’s the advice you’re aiming for, you know? It was a very tough competition. The jumps were a very high standard in the boys test, they all jumped really well and the fact that I managed to get past everyone and I was on top was even more special. In the end, when I felt like it was all over and I had the path to take, I freed myself. It’s as if I opened the barrel with energy and passion, and everything I tried to hold back exploded up to that point. (Laugh)
I had two days of competition with a heat wave coming from the south of France. There, the authorities canceled public events, and at one point, there was a shadow of doubt about our competition, whether it would take place or not. It’s the moment when you realize, “Hey, there are some extreme circumstances that are calling into question the entire course of the event.” But in the end everything went well, and for me it was a real success on all levels. It was a privilege to jump from this location so close to the Eiffel Tower.
I consider myself a very controlling man. I usually control my feelings. But this was the first time I lost control.
You are a balanced guy in general. I haven’t really seen you show your emotions yet. What was different this time?
That was the biggest irony, really! I consider myself a very controlling man. I usually control my feelings. But this was the first time I lost control. But it was a positive thing for me, because I’m often well aware of my reactions and don’t show up. Now he was free! It was a joy I had never felt before. It was a level of perfection that I craved and hoped to reach. The fact that it happened at a time when dear people were by my side, close to my heart – my brother, my wife, my friends – contributed to this delicious mixture of feelings.
In Paris she also broke a world record: the highest score in the history of the competition. What can you tell us about the jumps made that convinced the jury to give you only 9 and 10?
For this season, I kept my technical program from last year, didn’t change any leaps, didn’t add any new elements in my program, but chose instead to go in the direction of consolidating and maximizing the potential of the program I already had. I have three jumps on my list that I do consistently very well. And I wanted to get a full course, to know that I came very close to mastering the program, mastering my series and exploiting the potential of this series as much as possible. The fact that I scored 9 and 10 for all four jumps made in Paris showed that I was on the right track.
In the interview at the beginning of the year, you decided to focus 100% on your sport this season. How is your plan from the beginning of the year do you stick to it?
Yes, I stick to it! I treat sports as a full time job. Focusing all the resources in this direction certainly helped, because I have results. The most important factor was when I decided, “This is what I want to do 100%, I’m fully involved in.” I want to climb as high as possible. They increased my confidence, my confidence in my training, in the potential that I possessed. There is no doubt that what I have prepared so far was correct, and the results obtained were confirmation that I am doing things in the right direction.
What does your day look like during training?
On five out of seven days I wake up around 6.00-6.30am. I have a wake-up and stretching routine, then breakfast and coffee. I like to start my mornings at a slower pace, even if that isn’t always possible. Then I go to the first workout of the day which lasts between two – two and a half hours. Then I go home, prepare my lunch, rest a bit, and then do the second workout of the day which lasts an hour and a half – two hours. I come home, make dinner, and then devote the evening to stretching and meditation.
With this routine in place, I’ve learned to pay more attention to my body, the signals it sends me and its needs. I’m recovering this weekend, but I’m still moving. I either do a yoga class, do foam roller exercises, walk or hike, or go out on the motorbike, with my friends, and do a few sessions together.
All this came through the development of knowledge and maturity that we have experienced in recent years. I know how to take care of myself and I know how to listen to myself to do what is needed for my mind and body.
Third place in Boston and victory in Paris. How do you see the Red Bull Cliff World Diving Championship?
I will do everything I can to have a consistent path, and to a very high standard. Continuous journey. It will be a long season. We will have a lot of competitions. We will have six more stages at the Red Bull Circuit in addition to the first edition of the European Championship in August, which will be held in Rome, and a few other international competitions. This is a challenge for all of us, who are in the ring, who play this sport, given that it is one of the busiest seasons, and then we have to be careful to maintain a high pace and recover as much as possible after each competition. The recovery aspect of achieving good results is what will ultimately make the difference.
Watch below the documentary “Chasing Excellence” about the life of Cătălin Preda:
Recently, you launched Chasing Excellence, a documentary that tells the story of your life. Why do you want such material?
I wanted material that would outline my complete profile, that would highlight other aspects that are part of my approach, of my life, of my passion. This documentary is a very complete part of my life so far and also shows my sports career and the values I have in everyday life.