From Helsinki to Huntington — Two Diving Greats Meet (Video!)

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olympic gold medal diver meets finnish clown diver

Three-time Olympic Gold Medal Diver Dr. Sammy Lee and Finnish Clown Diver Osmo Meskanan met this week. Photos by Debby McCormick.

By Jessica Pollack

Almost 60 years ago, Huntington Beach resident and diving legend, Dr. Sammy Lee was in Helsinki, Finland winning his second Olympic Gold medal at the 1952 Olympic Games.

Last year, Sammy got together with a room full of diving greats from all over the U.S. to celebrate his 90th birthday. Sammy’s former student and fellow Huntington Beach resident, Debby McCormick, thought it would be fun to show a video of a Finnish Clown dive troupe she had received two years before.The room was stunned by the quality of the Jerobeam Clown Divers headed by Osmo Meskanan.

Jerobeam Finnish Clown Divers in Action

Debby contacted Osmo to let him know about how well his troupe’s performance went over and to see if there might be some way they could work together. Osmo was thrilled and humbled that his troupe was so well received by the great Helsinki Olympic Gold Medalist, Sammy Lee.

Bring in the Clowns … to Long Beach

In the month’s since, Osmo and Debby have been working on plans for Osmo’s troupe to come to the Long Beach home of McCormick Divers as part of Long Beach Sea Festival.

Osmo is in California this week and had the chance to meet one of diving’s most beloved champions. On April 5th, Osmo met Dr. Sammy Lee at his home in Huntington Beach. He brought Sammy four beautifully framed pictures from the Sport Museum in Helsinki.

On Friday, Osmo, Debby and the Marketing Director from U.S. Diving are meeting with officials from the City of Long Beach about the possibilities of Jerobeam Clown Divers putting on shows this summer to promote Long Beach Sea Festival.

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