US gold medal diver David Boudia retires from competition
Noblesville diver David Boudia, Indiana’s second most decorated athlete in Olympic history, announced Wednesday that he is retiring from competition.
Boudia, 33, won four medals at three Olympics, including gold on a 10-metre platform in London in 2012. He finished third on the 3-metre springboard – a Team USA berth – at the 2021 Olympic trials in Indianapolis.
“You always hear people say you’ll know when it’s time to hang up, and I never believed that. I do now,” Boudia wrote in an Instagram post. “I made my last dive at the Olympic trials in 2021 and the following months were difficult.
“But since that dive, not once have I felt like ‘I need to come back’.”
After:David Boudia overcame drug use and suicidal thoughts
Boudia continued in the sport as an assistant diving coach at Purdue, her alma mater. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the recent World Championships.
The only other Indiana athlete to win as many as four Olympic medals is Ray Ewry of Lafayette, also of Purdue. Ewry won eight gold medals in standing jumps – all discontinued events – in 1900, 1904 and 1908.
Boudia is an eight-time athlete of the year in diving in the United States, a six-time NCAA champion at Purdue and an IHSA state champion in 2005.
In 2019, at age 30, Boudia won a record 21st national title, closing a 28-point deficit with four dives to complete on a 10-meter platform in Indianapolis. He ranks third in American men’s history behind Greg Louganis (47) and Troy Dumais (38).
At the 2012 London Olympics, Boudia barely made it past the preliminaries in 18e and finished third in the semi-finals. The scores started from zero in the final. Boudia took his final dive to score 568.65 points, beating world champion Qiu Bo of China (566.85) and Britain’s Tom Daley (556.95).
It was the first gold medal for the United States in Olympic diving since Laura Wilkinson in the women’s 10 meters in 2000 and the first in the event by an American diver since Greg Louganis in 1988.
Boudia wrote hearing his name “Olympic champion” still sends shivers down his spine.
“(But) more than that, it was through diving that I found my purpose in life: ‘to glorify God and enjoy (L)im forever,'” he wrote.
Ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Boudia wrote a memoir, “Greater than Gold,” in which he revealed drug use issues and suicidal thoughts.
In Rio he won a bronze medal in the 10 meters and, with Steele Johnson of Carmel, a silver medal in the synchronized event.
Boudia’s consistency at or near the top of the world has been matched by only a few. He was a World Cup bronze medalist in the 10 meters as early as 2008 – eight years before his bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro – and came close to making his first Olympic team aged 15 in 2004.
So not only did he compete in three Olympics, he almost made it to five. At a time when Chinese divers usually held the top two spots, Boudia won four 10-meter silver medals at the World Championships: 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015.
On Instagram, he wrote:
“I look forward to continuing to be immersed in the world of diving as a coach and to see what the next chapter has in store for us. Eyes on Paris 2024, just in a new role.
Contact IndyStar reporter David Woods at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.