Leap of faith: Jumping off the Old Bridge in Mostar

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Only the incredibly skilled and heroically brave attempt to dive 21 metres off the Old Bridge in Mostar. But TNT gives it a go anyway
In the minds of most sane people, jumping off tall bridges is a way to die – but in Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina, it’s a way of life.

Standing on the edge of the bridge, looking at the fast-flowing river 21 metres below, I can’t help but think I’ve made a serious mistake. I can hear Igor, my diving instructor, giving me some last-minute pointers on how to make the perfect jump, but I’m not really listening. All I can think is: “Don’t fuck this up.” While the dozens of tourists who are all clamouring to take photos are probably thinking the opposite: “I really hope he fucks this up.”

As soon as I jump off the bridge I know I’ve done it wrong. I want to enjoy it, to feel the adrenalin pumping through my veins, but with the river hurtling towards me at an alarming rate and my arms and legs flailing all over the place, all I can think is that it’s going to hurt.
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“Long ago, local boys used to jump off the bridge to impress aristocrats,” says Admir Deliç, the head of the diving club. ‘When I was younger we used to do it to impress girls.”
“The first jump isn’t the hardest,” he explains. “The worst one is the second, because you know what’s coming.”

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