USA Olympic Diver & Silver medallist, David Boudia: “I am not the same person I was at my first Olympics “

After a sublime performance at Rio 2016 for the USA, Olympic diver, David Boudia splashed into the limelight. Ollie Baines caught up with the man who says that God is ‘greater than gold’.

So David you’ve just left Rio with a silver and a bronze medal, what is the feeling right now, delighted with your achievement?

The past four years since the London Olympic Games in 2012 has been a whirlwind. Many highs and many lows. Going into a Games after having a lot of success from the past one you have a lot of expectations and pressure that comes with it – so with that said, I am beyond happy with how it turned out.

Where does the Rio 2016 experience rank for you in comparison to London 2012?

It is so hard to put a ranking on these experiences. Both were amazing and both had different things that I like more and less, but to be able to share the Rio games with my wife and baby girl puts Rio high on the list.

Could you tell us how you came to know God for yourself?

Since I was young I built an idea for myself that if I could have fame, riches and success then I would truly be satisfied. The Olympics were what I thought could bring the goods so after the 2008 Games I realised that this wouldn’t bring me everything I thought. I fell into depression shortly after those Games and even contemplated suicide. I knew this couldn’t go on much longer so I reached out to my coach, Adam Soldati, and he invited me over the next night to share with me what God was doing with all of this.

You’ve now won medals in both the individual diving and synchronised, is it extra special to win as a part of a team, with Steele Johnson?

It is a lot more special to win a medal when it’s not just you up there. Steele and I have been training together for a very long time and we have had many highs and lows that come along with training.

Our relationship is very much like a brother relationship and it’s encouraging to know that I can stand on the podium and know that we have done everything we could together as a team to be in this position.

Is there extra pressure in the synchronised event? If you make a mistake it costs not only you but your partner also.

It’s actually quite the opposite. We know that at the end of the day it’s not whether or not I made a mistake or he made a mistake because this is a team effort not an individual effort. Steele and I have a blast competing together and it’s almost like we don’t even know we’re competing on the biggest competitive stage in the world because we get to do it side-by-side, which takes the pressure off.

Do you both pray before you dive, how does God feature in your preparation?

We do, along with our coach Adam Soldati. We thank God for allowing us to be able to experience such a thrill on this side of heaven and also pray that His will would be done and that we would be content with that, rather than the outcome.

Where do you keep your medals? It must be really tempting to lock them in a safe.

I always get asked this question. If I told people and they would know exactly where to look for them! However, to be honest, I’ve had them with me quite a bit because I’ve been using them to show people at different events I get invited to so they really haven’t had a permanent home.

You are very open to talking about your walk with God, do you see diving as a form of worship?

I absolutely do. God is giving me a tremendous platform to be able to experience his glory and to share how good he is through my diving. Both, in my thoughts while I compete, in my words as I try to put claim who is Lord of my life. If you are excited about something you want to tell people and this is why I’m so outspoken.


Would be where you are today without God’s influence in your life?

Again, it’s extremely hard to answer because I can’t play God in this scenario. But I can tell you that because of his grace I have truly been transformed from inside out and I am not the same person as I was at my first Olympics in Beijing. He continues to mould me into his image daily as I continue to give myself up to him

What inspired you to write your recent book, ‘Greater Than Gold?

The biggest inspiration to write Greater than Gold was for the reason that I wanted to tell the world what God has done in my life through diving. I really wanted to emphasise that struggles are common,  they are okay, and that change can take place when you’re willing to let God do his work in you.

Outside of the pool, if there was any other Olympic event/sport you’d like to try your hand at, what would it be?

I am extremely competitive so sports and competing are what I like to do. If I had to choose one sport it would be soccer. I grew up playing soccer and I still will bring it today.

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