RIO DE JANEIRO – David Boudia of Team USA swam out of the Rio Olympics 10-meter platform diving competition with the bronze medal, after finishing 10th in the semifinals on Saturday.
The gold medalist in the event at the London Games, Boudia placed third behind Aiden Chen of China (gold) and German Sanchez of Mexico (silver) in the event, held at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center in the Olympic Park. He also won bronze in synchronized diving in London.
It was a bit of a heartbreaker for Boudia, who entered the final of six dives in second place behind Chen. But he saved his worst for last, notching a 68.45 on his final dive – a forward, 4.5 somersault tuck – that gave Sanchez an opening to move ahead.
It’s been along journey for Boudia, 27. He placed 10th in his first Olympics in 2008, a result that sent him into a downward spiral in his personal life.
“Leading up to the 2008 Games was me chasing the Olympic dream. I wanted the fame. I wanted the riches. And I thought the Olympics were going to be the vehicle to deliver those goods. It turned out after the 2008 Games that it didn’t fulfill me. It didn’t give me the satisfaction that I thought it would. So I slipped into a depression. I didn’t want to get out of bed,” he said before the Rio Games.
The depression included a problem with drugs and alcohol. “I experienced suicidal thoughts. So I reached out to a teammate and eventually went to my coach and he shared the gospel with me,” he said.https://www.amazon.com/Greater-Than-Gold-Heartbreak-Redemption/dp/0718077415
“It was something I used to laugh at quite frankly before that. But it really just changed my life, and told me why I’m here.”
Boudia had a book released as the Olympics began called “Greater Than Gold: Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption” that chronicled that journey from persona darkness to discovering his faith to winning gold in London.
The next chapter? The bronze medal in Rio, the first Olympic place he’s taken since the birth of his now-two-year-old daughter.
“Whether I win gold or flop spectacularly, my daughter is going to love me no matter what,” he said.
Listen to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski podcast from Rio on GRANDSTANDING, featuring a Ryan Lochte Controversy Edition with Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports and Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star!
Live from Rio: Ryan Lochte, international fugitive; the strange side of the Games: