Remember Bacon from 1998’s Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels played by actor Jason Statham? This may come as a surprise to many but before his stint as an actor, Statham was a diving professional. He even took part in the 1990 Commonwealth Games and was chosen to compete for Britain’s national diving team, diving in the 1m, 3m and 10m events.
However, Jason Statham’s performance hadn’t been as remarkable and he ended up finishing eighth in the 1m springboard, 11th in the 3m springboard and 10th in the 10m round. The Commonwealth Games were held in Auckland in 1990.
Jason Statham has previously also shared how he was keenly interested in sports as he grew up. He was a regular at Kung Fu, kickboxing, karate, football and diving as a teenager. He was even a proud member of Britain’s National Swimming Squad for 12 years. After the Commonwealth Games, James was again scouted but this time, it was for a sports modelling agency. This later paved his way as an actor in Hollywood.
Here’s a video of Jason Statham from the CWG 1990:
In an interview in 2008, Statham even shared his take on making the switch between sports and films. He said, “I never really achieved what I wanted to achieve. But I think what I didn’t achieve has probably helped me focus more and take my acting career more seriously,” as reported by BBC.
In an interview with Katie Couric during the promotions of Parker, Jason actively talked about his diving career. Recalling how it all started, he said, “I was on holiday in Florida with my Mom and Dad, in Miami. And there was a guy who used to do a high dive at noon every day from one of the hotels we stayed in. And I say ‘when we get home, I am going to do that.’ And I joined the club then, I was like 11 or 12 years old. Within a year, I was part of the British team and it gained momentum and I spent the next ten years doing that.” He also mentioned that he wanted to compete in the Olympics and even did three trials. The revelation had even left his co-star Jennifer Lopez stumped.