Boudia overcomes prelims, wins gold medal


David Boudia, world champion. (Photo provided by the Boudia family)

Most of us watched the event unfold on NBC. Noblesville’s David Boudia went from barely qualifying for the semifinals to winning first place in the 10 meter individual platform – the first gold medal for U.S. diving since Greg Louganis in 1988.

David’s father, Jim, was kind enough to share his family’s experience during the event.

“We have gone through an incredible couple of days – It is so difficult to describe the range of emotions we have experienced, and are so blessed to have such great support.”

“Going into the prelims of the 10 meter event, we felt the normal jitters. We thought David would pace himself the way he normally does in these kind of prelim events that have 30 or more divers. David has adopted a skill set to be able to manage long periods of time between dives, and it has served him well.”

“With six divers left in the final round, David was 17th – with two of the six being (UK) divers who had a legitimate shot at knocking David out. We expected Tom Daly to perform his final dive well, which left Pete needing a perfect dive to punch his ticket. I have seen him do this dive perfectly and I knew it was in his wheelhouse. It proved to be too much for Pete, and David made it into the semis.”

“It was late when we returned to our flat (after midnight on August 11), and we had to be back at Olympic park by 8 a.m.”

“David’s fate rested clearly in God’s hands. He had accepted it – inwardly we all had accepted it; outwardly, we were nervous wrecks! Seeing David before the start of the semis, I could see the confidence back in his face – all of us knew after David’s first dive that he had recovered.”

“David’s faith has instilled incredible peace within him – it’s the foundation for his approach to life and his diving, and it’s amazing to see God’s will at work through him.”

“David finished semis solidly in third in front of Daly and behind the duo from China. We spent the day in Olympic Park with my sister, her husband, and the Brand family (David’s fiancé). We are so grateful for such incredible support of David; and what great fellowship to have family with you through these crazy events.”

“Olympic Park was packed – it was a sea of people and an amazing sight. The 10 meter final was one of the premier events and was strategically scheduled as a key event to watch.”

“After introductions, (wife) Sheilagh and I were repositioned in different seats. It all seems like a blur. Looking up to see David leading this pack of incredible divers was unbelievable. He was absolutely unflappable!”

“I had to remind Sheilagh to breathe. When the fifth round scoring summary came up, we were absolutely blown away. First, second and third were separated by less than .15 of a point. Holy crap! And David was tied for second with Chinese diver Qiu Bo, who was heavily favored to win. Both David and Bo had higher degree of difficulty dives than (Daly), which put those two in pretty good shape to overcome the hometown favorite.”

“This is the part that truly blows me away. With Tom getting a 10 and other high marks, it was up to David to ‘do what he does.’ This all seemed like slow motion to me as I watched David’s final dive. His takeoff from the tower was strong and clean as he was spinning, and he had a great pike out into a come-out just above the  three meter were he lined up the entry and punched into the water.  I just knew it was going to be something special and I couldn’t contain myself. I realized that I had jumped to my feet screaming. I think the folks in our section thought I was crazy.”

“Bo needed 102 points to beat David. Both Sheilagh and I simply looked at the scoreboard and realized that David had just secured the silver medal. We looked at each other, shaking our heads in disbelief. When Bo went into the water, hitting his dive a little short, we both started thinking ‘Could this really be?’ When the scores came up, all I could do was bury my face in my hands, thank God for revealing his glory, and say a prayer of thanks. Sheilagh and I stood up and cried in each other’s arms.”