One memorable dive has changed Jack Clark’s high school career forever. Clark’s now-famous bellyflop dive has over 2.3 million views on the Instagram page, “House of Highlights,” and made it to Reddit’s front page. It has been reported that Buzzfeed, a massive media company, also requested exclusive rights to the video.
For those that didn’t witness one of the greatest moments in Bellarmine history, here is the recap. Most of the Bellarmine student body was filing out of the pool area until Buddy Nash grabbed the microphone and exclaimed, “Hold up everyone we have a late entry to the competition, freshman Jack Clark!”
Most of the students stopped and turned around to witness the late contestant’s attempt at a belly flop. Jack turns, holds up his arms, and as he jumps performs a double backflip and lands precisely parallel with the water, the perfect belly flop! Senior Ethan Tanti filmed the dive and submitted it to Instagram’s page, “House of Highlights,” with over fourteen million followers. The belly flop stunt instantly went viral! Later that same day, another Bellarmine student posted the video on Reddit where it trended to the front page with over ninety-six thousand upvotes. The video was also dubbed over by popular social media personality Bob Menery, where it received another forty-five thousand views.
While the video received a ton of recognition and hype, no one knows anything about the diver… until now!
I first wanted to get some background information on Jack Clark and his diving experience. He said, “I have only been diving for about 2.5 years and before I was diving, I did gymnastics for 8 years. Gymnastics gave me the strength, flexibility, and the art of flipping. My teammates and coaches have helped me get to where I am today. With little experience in the sport, my coaches knew it would take some time for me to learn and they have had the patience to work with me. What really got me here are my teammates. They were all so much better than me when I started on the team which pushed me to do better. Every practice I tried my hardest in order to catch up with my friends and teammates. To this day, I still push myself because of them. Without their leadership and guidance, I would have never been at the level I am now.”
After listening to Jack tell me a little about his athletic experience, I was curious to discover why he was the last diver in the competition and why he wanted to compete. Jack replied by saying, “I did the belly flop competition because one of my friends, Manan Singh who is a freshman at Bell, highly encouraged me to participate. He knew I was a good diver so he thought it was the perfect competition for me, even though divers do not purposely smack. With his persuasive talking, I nervously joined the competition very late.”
I then asked how it felt to have his belly flop video go viral, I specifically asked what were his emotions seeing the video skyrocket on House of Highlights and Reddit, “I am very surprised how much coverage it had gotten. I thought only a limited amount of people at Bellarmine would recognize me or even remember what I did. My first reaction when I heard and saw it was on the front page of Reddit and climbing in views on Instagram was, “Did people actually think that it was that amazing?” and “Why couldn’t I be recognized for a good dive?” (like one not smacking). I was also physically shaking around 10 o’clock pm because of how popular it was getting to be.”
After he spoke about the viral video, I was interested in finding out if he was treated differently the next day. How did it feel to be a school-wide celebrity? “I am excited, but I am not taking advantage of it. I let people call me what they want to call me. I don’t tell my friends that I am a celebrity or tell them I am famous all the time. When there is a new milestone in views or something similar, then I tell them. Some were coming up to me and even asking for a picture. I really don’t know how long this is going to last though.”
While I’m sure many Bellarmine students are looking forward to seeing Jack Clark compete in next year’s Bellarmine Belly Flop competition, they shouldn’t hold their breath. “Next year, don’t expect me to do anything cooler or more elaborate because I could injure myself. I have gotten a concussion from diving and I would not like to get one again.”
Bob Menery via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4m6caLnLty/?igshid=10fhg1mqukp6g
House of Highlights via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4l9p6Ggnp1/?igshid=1gwcxqp2xx698