Noblesville’s David Boudia is a favorite to end USA’s diving medal drought at 2012 Olympics
David Boudia’s name and diving prowess are well known in Noblesville and the Big Ten, but in just days, the former NHS student will hopefully capture the nation’s attention as he competes in two 10-meter diving events at the Summer Olympics in London.
Four years ago, Boudia competed in the 2008 Beijing games as a 19-year-old. He finished fifth in the 10-meter synchronized event with Thomas Finchum of Indianapolis and 10th in the 10-meter platform. Last month, Boudia placed first in both those events at the Olympic Trials in Federal Way, Wash.
“In 2008, I was a kid,” he said. “2012 looks a lot different . . . Coming off the 2008 Olympic Games and going straight into college season was definitely a huge preparation. I’ve been growing and learning from being at Purdue University. Faith is in my life. I have a different approach for 2012.”
Meet David Boudia
Family: Son of Jim and Sheilagh Boudia and brother of Shaila and Shauni
Education: Boudia attended Noblesville High School. He would have graduated in 2007 but was home schooled as he prepared for the 2008 Olympics. At Purdue, Boudia has 30 credits left to graduate with a degree in communications.
Diving coach: Adam Soldati
Go-to dive: Back three and a half pike. Out of six dives, it is No. 5. It is definitely my favorite because I can count on it for high points.
Biggest difference between individual and synchronized diving: In individual you aren’t competing with someone else. Nobody’s next to you flipping at 35 mph. You have to have reliance and trust with that person.
Do you watch other Olympic events?: In Olympic Village, the USOC provides any ticket you could imagine. I love watching the smaller sports and the popular ones as well.
What’s it like wearing the red, white and blue in the opening ceremonies?: You are representing so much more than yourself – millions back in the U.S. It’ll be engraved in my mind the rest of my life.
Now just 23 years old, Boudia has spent the time between Olympics filling his mantle with awards and national titles. He earned silver in the 2009 World Championships, has 17 career national titles, is a six-time NCAA national champion and was named the NCAA Diver of the Year three times. He is also the American record holder for six-dive platform and most points on a single dive, and he won the Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year in the Big Ten.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Boudia. “It’s not just diver of the year, you are beating out football players and future NBA players.”
Four Hoosiers will be among the 530 athletes representing the United States in the upcoming Olympics. In addition to David Boudia, Indiana will be represented by track and field competitors Amber Campbell (hammer throw) of Indianapolis and Morgan Uceny (1,500-meter race) of Plymouth and soccer forward Lauren Cheney of Indianapolis. Indiana is one of the 44 states represented on Team USA for the upcoming Olympics. Team USA will be composed of 269 females and 261 males. This is the first time in the nation’s history that a Team USA features more female than male athletes.
Despite being in the upper echelon of divers in the world, Boudia remains humble and focused.
“There’s always goals and expectations,” he said. “I’m taking it one step at a time – trusting the work put in – and gaining perspective to why I am doing this, something I did not have going into 2008.”
Did You Know?
The last USA male diver to medal on the 10-meter platform was Scott Donie in 1992. Donie earned a silver medal at the Barcelona games. Recently, the sport has been dominated by Chinese, who have earned six medals in the past four Olympics. No Americans (men or women) have medaled in the 10-meter synchronized platform.
Helping to make his second Olympics easier, Boudia will compete in the same events as 2008.
“It’s the same scenario. I know what to expect in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I know what to do and what not to do.”
One big difference is his synchronized partner – Duke University’s Nick McCrory. The two were partnered together in 2010 and McCrory’s skill set allows the duo to attempt higher point dives than Boudia was previously able to do with Finchum.
“We were placed together by High Performance Diving,” explained Boudia. “We were both at the top of our games that year. We’ve grown as synchronized partners the last two years. Nick is capable of being at the top.”
The two took fourth at the 2012 FINA World Cup earlier this year and dominated the U.S. Olympic Trials last month. Despite their different school locations, the USOC has helped pay travel and expenses so the two could work together preparing for London.
“In March and April we had four weeks of straight competition,” said Boudia. “That could not have been a more perfect scenario.”
Entering the Olympics, Boudia is on a roll professionally and personally – he got engaged in May.
“The past year has been amazing,” he said.
Prior to his departure, Boudia’s family and community hosted a send-off, which reminded him that no matter the outcome, he was a success in everyone’s eyes.
“Lots of people have come out to support me,” said Boudia. “An athlete is only as good as their support system. It’s an absolute blessing to have them. Whether I win or lose, they’ll always be behind me and love me.”
Boudia began diving in the fall of 2010. Prior to then, he competed in different sports including gymnastics. While watching the Atlanta games in 1996, Boudia first realized his goal of being an Olympian.
“My 12-year goal finally came true in 2008,” he said. “I was in gymnastics for the longest time, but I lost passion with it. I love the adrenaline rush while flipping.”
The London Games begin Friday and run through Aug. 12. The 10-meter synchronized diving finals are Monday, and the 10-meter individual diving events are Aug. 10 and 11.
“My events are the second day and the very last day,” said Boudia. “In between, I’ll stay focused, go to different sporting events, but most of my time will be spent in preparation of competitions.”