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Five-year-old who went viral for diving-board fear takes the plunge

"It's a very proud, proud moment."
/ Source: TODAY

After going viral in 2018 in a video that showed him scared to jump off a diving board, Ron Hampton, Jr., now 5, is making a splash again.

In a video shared to Twitter by Hampton's father, Ron Hampton Sr., the child confidently dives into a local pool.

Hampton shared another photo of his son grinning broadly as he jumped in, taken exactly one year after the original video was posted.

"Hopefully the Twitter-verse will know my son got past that fear he felt on that diving board!" he wrote.

The original video went viral in 2018, showing Ron Jr., then age 3, trembling on the diving board and sitting on the edge while his swimming teacher, Miss Margaret, attempts to coax him into the water.

"After swimming lessons, the older kids all wanted to jump off the diving boards, and he wanted to jump off like them," Hampton told TODAY. "I knew he had never done it before, and I knew he'd probably be scared, but I wasn't going to say 'No, you don't need to do that.' So I let him attempt it, and he went up there, and it was a lot more scary than he anticipated."

They continued to go back to the pool throughout the summer, and after a week or two he was finally ready to jump in.

"I posted videos a while back, but of course, those don't go viral," he said. One such video, shared on October 25, 2018, showed Ron Jr. confidently jumping into the 12-foot deep end.

A week ago, he made even more progress by giving diving a try after watching Hampton do it during a family outing.

"I honestly didn't expect him to go through with it," said Hampton. "But he did. He went on, head-first, and jumped in with no fear. And now he's diving with no problem."

Several commenters have compared Ron Jr.'s jumps to Miles Morales' "Leap of Faith" in "Into the Spiderverse," a comparison that Hampton says his son loves.

"That's literally his favorite movie," Hampton said. "And it's been his favorite part of the movie since the movie came out."

"It's a very proud, proud moment," Hampton said. "I'm proud of him. He's such a special kid. He's compassionate, he cares about other kids... He understood everything about the video. He wasn't ashamed, because he knew that he could overcome that fear, and he knew he would, and he eventually did."