While Australia's collective passion for sports is quite remarkable, there is nothing unusual about either passion as such or any object of it. Most people, wherever they are, are passionate about something - and almost every aspect of life can be the object of such a passion. It's just that whatever any particular person cares deeply about (be it politics, science, history or, say, Roman coins minted in the 5th century BC), (s)he remains completely indifferent to many other things that happen to be other people's objects of passion. This situation is best described by R.Heinlein's famous quote: “One man's theology is another man's belly laugh”. Quite naturally, belly laughers don't find the thing they are ridiculing too important. As opposed, sports lovers do consider the object of their passion both significant and wonderful - yet even they aren't likely to call it a “wonder”. The reason is exactly the same as in the case of water: sports is too ubiquitous, and that makes it seem routine. Competitions are too regular, and there are too many of them - and wonders are supposed to be few and far between. That said, there is at least one sport that has a very strong claim to uniqueness.
Athletes are competitors whose primary goal is to win. As one tennis player put it, “I have many friends on the Tour, but when we step on court to play against each other, we become enemies! For the duration of the game, that is…”. It must be similar for every combat sport where athletes are directly opposing each other - or every ball-game where teams do the same. It might be less intense when it comes to events where athletes don't impact each other's performance directly, such as field events in athletics. Discus throwers, shot-putters and such might linger in the sector after they are done competing - to high-five some of their colleagues after a successful attempt and, eventually, to congratulate the winner. It's somewhat of a tradition but it still happens on a case-by-case basis, depending on one's current mood, personal relationships and similar reasons. However, none of those reasons matter in a sport known as “high diving”. The name is rather self-explanatory: it's a branch of diving (an established Olympic sport), and its diving platform is much higher above the water. To be precise, it's 20 meter for women, and 27 for men - as opposed to 10 meter for Olympic divers. The name is also partial, because the full one should sound as “high-risk diving”!
It's the risk that emphasizes the real nature of the sport and determines its protocol (several lifeguards must be present in the pool, right next to divers' landing area, for the whole duration of competitions) and a tradition associated with safety (every diver thumbs up right after resurfacing - to indicate that (s)he isn't injured, and needs no help). It's the risk that shapes the sport's inimitable ambience by creating a unique fraternity of high-divers - and it's the fraternity that is responsible for the rest of the traditions, such as cartwheeling or summersaulting one's entry at the pre-competition presentation ceremony, then high-fiving every other competitor who is already there. Yet another, and even more touching tradition, is for every diver who has just come out of water to wait on the pier or join those waiting - and cheer for everybody who appears on the platform, about to dive. They huddle together as they are watching their fellow competitors fly through the air - and give each of them a big hand upon seeing the thumb up. There are many superlatives that can be used to describe that fragile, beautiful and precious fraternity, but if there has ever been a case justifying the renowned “One picture is worth a thousand words” adage, high-diving must be that ultimate case.