Olympic gold medalist David Boudia talks diving and future plans

Digital Journal
Basketball player and television analyst Rebecca Lobo once said, “Winning an Olympic gold medal is like nothing else.” This quotation holds true for 2012 Olympic gold medalist David Boudia.
The American Olympic champion took some time from his busy schedule and chatted with me about his experience at the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as his professional career in the sport of diving and his nomination for the James E. Sullivan Award; moreover, he offered advice for aspiring athletes.
At the 2012 Olympics that were held in London, Boudia reigned triumphant, winning a gold medal in the 10-meter platform, as well as a bronze medal in the synchronized 10-meter platform with team-mate Nick McCrory. “That was definitely a dream come true,” he admitted. “When I was 7 years old, I dreamt about going to the Olympic Games and winning them, so the hard work started from that point. In the London Olympics, I barely qualified in the preliminaries for that gold medal, but I completely trusted in God and in my ability to know that I was capable of doing that. Coming around in London in the last day of the Games and catching that goal was obviously a dream come true and obviously a triumph for the United States.”

Most impressive about Boudia is that he is a 16-time national champion in the sport of diving.

A Texas native, Boudia is drawn to diving since he feels as if he is “free falling” through the air. “I love acrobatics and I was extremely blessed in athletics, so I combined the grace and elegance of the artistic component and also the power that you get from jumping off of a 3-story building and going into the water without a splash of water is the most exhilarating part of it,” he explained.

The hardest aspect of the sport is not the actual diving, as opposed to the “balance that it requires.” “You have those mornings where that you absolutely do not want to wake up and throw your body off a platform and walk away sore, but if I am training hard I am working closer towards achieving those goals,” he said.

Boudia is motivated each day by his “faith” and that is the top priority that he and his wife have in their lives. “My No. 1 goal is to honor God with everything He supplies me with, and that includes my diving. When I am going into a workout, my No. 1 job as a believer is to make sure I am honoring with the ability that He has given me and being thankful for all of the opportunities that I have had in the sport,” he said.

He shared that in December of 2013, he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, which he earned from Purdue University. “I am officially a Purdue alumnus. It took a little longer than the normal college route, but my wife and I are still here and I am training full-time over at Purdue at the college team. We absolutely love it here,” he said.

Boudia scored a nomination for the coveted James E. Sullivan Award, which recognizes the nation’s outstanding amateur athletes. “For every amateur athlete, the Sullivan Award is one of the most prestigious, so just to be considered for it is a good accolade,” he said.

In 2013, he served as a judge on the reality diving competition Splash, along with veteran Steve Foley. “It was definitely an eye-opening experience going into reality television. To have celebrities trying your sport is very comical and very admirable since they are putting themselves in vulnerable positions since they are throwing their bodies off of structures that they normally would not have been doing,” he said. “They are promoting the technical side of diving which is an awesome opportunity. I grew a lot while the television show was going on, and I hopefully will see what else out of that.”

During his tenure on Splash, he collaborated with fellow Olympic champion Greg Louganis. “Greg is obviously a legend in the sport of diving and he was a mentor for the celebrity divers. I tried to pick his brain, and it was a cool experience to dive with him together. It was a lot of fun and he adds excitement into the dives. That was an experience that I will take away from that,” Boudia said.

Aside from being a world-renowned diver and husband to Sonnie, he revealed that he is a soon-to-be father. “My wife and I are expecting our first little girl in September, so that’s definitely going to be the bigger ‘game changer’ in our lives. We will learn how to be parents, and thankfully we can do it gradually. We are excited to meet her, and we are training to defend that gold medal,” he said.

For aspiring divers and athletes, he underscored the importance of having set goals.

“Make sure you have that structure but also intertwine and make sure that you are enjoying what you are doing. At the end of the day, it is a sport and it is not something that defines us. Continue to work hard and set those goals and have fun is really crucial in diving and in the athletic world,” he said.

If he were not a professional diver, Boudia noted that he would love to be a soccer player as his alternate career choice. “Next week, I will be watching the countries come together and compete in the soccer arena. I am excited to watch these World Cup matches coming up,” he said.

Boudia concluded our interview by sharing his admiration for his fans. “I want to thank them for their support, but more importantly, I hope that my life can bring some sort of encouragement to them. I hope they will see my failures and my triumphs and be able to see how they were handled, and make that beneficial for their lives as well,” he said.

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