They call themselves the Flying Fools, but the high divers with Milord Entertainment aren’t just goofing around. It’s a dangerous and complicated sport, and Yves Milord and company have dedicated their lives to thrilling audiences through diving.
Milord has been diving for thirty years, and has been operating Milord Entertainment for 22, continuing to dive through that time. He says it’s because of a life-long love of acrobatics that started when he was 13, including trampoline and gymnastics as well as the dive. The former gym teacher says he made diving his life because of the passion he had for the sport, and has been travelling the world ever since.
“We give so much effort to those sports when we’re young, if you can make a living out of it, why not?” he says.
The show itself is put together by Melanie Royer, and she says it’s all about putting everyone’s strengths on display. She notes that everyone has their specialty dives and strengths, so it’s a matter of using those strengths to make the best show possible. She notes that it’s very precise show, as there’s not much room for error in timing or positioning.
“Especially when you’re looking at our mass dive, when five of us are jumping at the same time, we all have our specific spot to hit in the pool and there’s not much room to avoid touching each other. We practice, and once we put it in the show it’s perfect,” Royer adds.
Doing an outdoor diving show is a challenge because the weather increases the variables, Milord admits, and since the divers also set up the equipment it’s important to know what they can do safely.
“You need to adjust in all the situations, indoors it’s always the same, outdoors there are a lot of factors,” Milord says.
He says that there are many ways to get hurt in the show, some of which aren’t obvious, such as just getting to the boards or moving around the pool. Safety is a major concern for the group, and he says they’re always working to be as safe as possible.
“It becomes second nature, but you always have to make sure you’re safe, for you and the other guys.”
He admits that the danger is part of the appeal of the show, but says that they try to put together something that everyone can enjoy, and that the evidence of that is in the large crowds the show attracted.
“People like to see extreme stuff where there’s a risk. This is one of the best shows for the entire family. You have the skills, you have the comedy, you have the clowns. You have the suspense, with the high dive, the fire dive, it’s everything combined. You’ve got to ask everybody what’s their favorite part, people will find something they like best,” Milord says.
“Over four days here, when we’re in the front, now we recognize people who were here yesterday, or at the last show. That’s the best sign, when you see people coming back, because they’re not tired of seeing it over and over,” Royer adds.
For Royer, the best part of the show is seeing kids who are working in gymnastics today, and inspiring them to go into diving and continuing their gymnastics career.
“You engage them in something, and it’s the best reward ever,” Royer says.
“Keep going buddy, because one day maybe you will be able to do that. Kind of extend their career, in their minds they would love to do that one of these days. They will keep going and practice it. You have to be passionate about it, because it’s not always easy. You have to drive 20 hours, set up overnight, do the show, and you fight the wind... It’s a lot of work, but if you like what you’re doing, there’s no price to that,” Milord adds.
The last time the divers were in Yorkton was seventeen years ago, and Milord says that they wanted to come back ever since, though scheduling made it impossible. He says this fair was a delight, with great crowds and great weather throughout the weekend. While Wednesday was windy, they admit, the weekend overall was everything they could have hoped for.
“It’s been a great, great four days in Yorkton,” Milord says.