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Elite diver Liam Stone back helping fellow Kiwis prepare for Commonwealth Games - including his idol

One of our top diving talents is home from the United States for Christmas break, but he isn’t taking much time off from his sport.

Liam Stone is preparing for a busy 2018 as he eyes the Gold Coast's Commonwealth Games in April.

However, The University of Tennessee diver’s moves are being carefully analysed – not just by coaches and teammates, but by a diver who actually used to be the one inspiring him.

"It's cool to watch them and learn and try push the boundaries my boundaries alongside them," Shaye Boddington said.

"I learnt back inward and reverse two and a half which is kind of considered a bit of a men's dive so it was quite cool doing that alongside the boys."

As the only elite diver based in Auckland, Boddington normally trains with much younger and less experienced athletes.

But having Stone and other members of the national squad in town over the past week has helped push her.

So much so that Boddington was able to complete a difficult dive for the first time this week - two and a half somersaults off a 1 metre springboard.

"I think it's a 3.1 degree of difficulty while most women compete 2.4," she said.

"I think there's only 2 women in the world competing at it."

The 31-year-old isn't one for taking the easy road after deciding this year she to make a surprise return to the sport having given it up more than a decade ago.

The Tokyo's Olympics remain her ultimate goal – a target Stone is eager to help her reach.

"As a kid, we would always be looking at the old trophies and the old NZ records and see Shaye Boddington," he said.

"We always kind of looked up to her as a name but never expected to be diving with her."

Diving with the boys can have some downsides though after Boddington dislocated her thumb attempting one move off the three metre board.

But you know what they say - no pain, no gain.

Stone is back in the country from the US and is giving other Kiwi divers some helpful pointers. Source: 1 NEWS