Gold Medalist David Boudia Has New Diving Partner For Rio


David Boudia hopes to compete in his third Olympic games next year. The 26-year-old Noblesville, Indiana, native remains among the best divers in the world as he trains at Purdue with a new synchronized 10-meter platform partner. Diving alongside Boudia is 19-year-old Steele Johnson from Carmel, Indiana. Johnson is the reigning Big Ten Conference diver of the year, winning the NCAA 1-meter and platform national titles as a Purdue freshman.

If the pair qualifies for the Olympics a year from now in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Johnson would be the 3rd different synchro partner for Boudia in three separate Olympics.

“I’ve had a lot of shortcomings and a lot of failures in my career,” said Boudia after a practice at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. “It’s kind of nice to be able to speak wisdom into his life and maybe save him from some of those failures that I’ve experienced. It’s nice to kind of be in that mentor role.”

“There’s definitely like that much older brother, much younger brother (dynamic),” said Johnson. “But it’s kind of like a close brotherhood. We’re friends. But he definitely picks on me all the time, from the moment I walk in practice he’ll be picking on me like my older brother does every time I see him.”

Boudia and Johnson rank as the top synchro pair in the United States heading to the World Championships July 24 – August 2 in Kazan, Russia. The team leaves for Russia July 15.

“Their physical ability to synchronize is unbelievable,” said Purdue diving coach Adam Soldati, who coaches the pair, “one of the best synchro teams that I have ever seen. That’s a beautiful thing to have. Now it comes down to the execution of the individual dives.”

Boudia competed in his first Olympics in Beijing in 2008, finishing 5th with partner Thomas Finchum on the 10-meter platform. In 2012 in London, Boudia won the individual 10-meter platform gold medal and the bronze on the platform with Nick McCrory.

Life has changed dramatically for Boudia since winning gold in London. He married his wife Sonnie in October 2012 and the couple now has a 10-month-old daughter, Dakoda.

“Even though my body is wearing down and I am quote, unquote, older in my sport at 26, I feel like I’m the strongest that I’ve been,” said Boudia. “It’s not because I’ve trained harder, but because I’ve trained smarter.”

Johnson may have to redshirt next season at Purdue in order to compete internationally for spot on the Olympic team.

“This time next year I could be an Olympian,” said Johnson. “It kind of gets my heart racing. But at the same time, it’s kind of reassuring because David has already been to two Olympics. He’s an Olympic bronze medalist in synchro, Olympic gold medalist in individual, so he’s got the experience. He’s got the knowhow. He’s really helped me grow in the international scene.”

The Purdue pair is likely to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team next June at the trials at the Natatorium in Indianapolis.

“God has given them a certain level of ability and talent that they certainly had nothing to do with,” said Soldati. “I want to see them foster that talent. I want to see them do the best that they can with that talent that God has given them and continue to use diving and that podium of being on the top right now to continue to influence others.”

Samsung Unveils Team USA VR Experience Featuring David Boudia

USA Today

Samsung is offering fans of The Olympics an up-close look at how members of Team USA are training for next year’s Games.

The company is teaming up with the United States Olympic Committee for the Road to Rio tour starting July 4 in Philadelphia, featuring a series of experiences leveraging the Gear VR virtual reality headset. Samsung is an associate sponsor of Team USA.

The 2015 USOC Road to Rio Tour Virtual Reality Experience will also be available on Samsung Milk VR — a hub for videos created for virtual reality. The experience includes four videos captured using camera rigs capable of capturing 360-degree footage that offer a closer look at how athletes are preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Among the athletes featured: beach volleyball team members Lauren Fendrick & Brook Sweat; pole vaulter Mary Saxer; gymnast John Orozco and gold-medal winning diverDavid Boudia.

“Being in a smaller sport like diving, it’s not seen very often,” said Boudia during an interview. “The average joe on the street doesn’t know what I do. Samsung was able to capture that perfectly.”

Boudia says Samsung used a 360-degree camera rig to capture him diving from a 10-meter platform, which he says is equivalent to jumping from a three-story building. “They would put (the rig) over me, they dropped it along side of me, they got us under water. They got every single possible (angle).”

The videos show Boudia as he leaps off the platform and plunges into the water. Users will be able to see this from above and well as from under water. In another video featuring Orozco, the video shows the gymnast as he practices on the parallel bars and rings.

“The whole idea was making sure this action could unfold all around you,” said Matt Apfel, vice president of strategy and creative content at Samsung Media Solutions Center America. “You would have to turn your head and turn your body to really experience what these different sports are.”

Tatyana McFadden Breaks World Record At Cedartown 5k

Northwest Georgia News

The annual lead-up to the Peachtree Road Race for wheelchair athletes saw one world record broken and another just seconds away from a new time as racers crossed the finish line in Cedartown on Tuesday night.

Women’s race winner Tatyana McFadden set a new 5K record of 11:11.57, beating the 11:19 time previously set at this race in 2014, which McFadden won as well.

She said following the race Tuesday the new milestone was an accomplishment, but her eye remains fixed ahead to the Peachtree Road race.

“I have so much fun at this race,” she said. “It’s the perfect course, lots of hills so there’s ups and downs.”