David Boudia might once have been excited about all this. He is introduced as Olympic champion and is headed to another World Championships.
But he is not the first-time Olympian he was in 2008 nor the ambitious 23-year-old he was in 2012. He is more like a Peyton Manning, trying to get the most out of the last part of his career.
“If I made a decision right now,” he said, “I’d be done after Rio.”
But he doesn’t have to decide now, and he is not done. He showed that emphatically Sunday, winning on the 10-meter platform at USA Diving’s trials to select a World Championships team.
The former Purdue diver from Noblesville finished with a flourish, receiving two 10s and four 9.5s from the judges on his trademark back 21/2 somersault with 21/2 twists, worth 102.60 in a sport in which 100-point scores are infrequent.
His total through three six-dive lists was 1,544.05. David Dinsmore, 17, New Albany, Ohio, held off Steele Johnson, 18, a Purdue freshman from Carmel, for the second worlds berth. Johnson trailed by 54 points after prelims and semifinals but cut that margin to 12 by the end, 1,353.55 to 1,341.30.
“You know, it’s better to do that this year than to do it at the Olympic Trials,” Johnson said.
U.S. trials for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics are June 18-26, 2016, at the Natatorium at IUPUI.
Johnson is already on the worlds team with Boudia in synchronized 10-meter, an event in which they won a World Cup bronze medal last year at Shanghai. This year’s worlds are July 24-Aug. 2 at Kazan, Russia.
After the competition, Johnson strapped a protective boot on his right foot for an undisclosed injury, saying it was “nothing too major.”
Boudia characterized his own performance as “solid,” mindful that all other divers are underdogs against the Chinese.
“On any given day, you have the Chinese that can obliterate everybody,” he said. “But they’re also human. At one competition, they can go an unreal score. The next, they’re totally beatable. It’s whether they show up that day.
“I think if we focus on the six dives that we have, everything will fall into place, like London did.”
Although the four years between Olympics can seem longer, Boudia said he would like more time before Rio. He said it’s a matter of “running this marathon” rather than attempting to sprint toward each and every victory.
“I’m just in a different place,” said Boudia, who has an 8-month-old daughter, Dakoda, with wife Sonnie. “I’m getting older, my body is getting a little harder to recuperate. I’m a dad, I’m a husband. I’m just moving on to something else.”