The Windsor Star
Peering down at the tiny speck of a man that was his coach, standing next to the pool some three storeys below, David Boudia was certain that his mentor was certifiable.
Asking his protégé to dive off the 10-metre platform, it was clear to Boudia that the man had lost his mind.
“The 10-metre petrified me when I was younger,” admitted Boudia of Noblesville, Ind., the reigning Olympic 10-metre platform diving gold medallist, who will be at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre for this weekend’s FINA Diving World Series.
“There’s no sane kid that goes up to the 10-metre and would be like, ‘Oh that’s just three flips off this and then dive head first.’
“I was definitely going up to the platform thinking my coach was crazy for sending me up there. I was probably 15-30 minutes into practice and just willing myself to go off this platform.”
Finally, Boudia took the leap of faith that would begin his plunge all the way to the top of the diving world.
“It was just one of those pivotal moments,” Boudia now realizes looking back on the day.
Life-changing, as it were.
“I never thought it would create such a cool atmosphere, being an Olympic champion,” Boudia, 25, said. “Now I’m able to use my diving and my being an Olympic champion to make a living, provide for my family and still do what I love to do and that’s dive.”
Still, Boudia can admit that he finds the 10-metre to be occasionally daunting, even after capturing the Olympic title.
Part acrobat, part gymnast, part showman and perhaps most of all, part daredevil, these Evel Knievels in Speedos are the superheroes of diving.
They may not leap tall buildings, but they willingly plummet to earth from atop the equivalent of one.
“It’s a love-hate relationship, just like any other job,” Boudia said of 10-metre competition. “Sometimes you love it; sometimes you hate it. You go into practices when your body is so beat up, so sore and your mind is kind of in the gutter. Then your coach says, ‘Get up on that 10-metre’ and we’re going to do whatever the workout is.”