By now, most of us would know David Boudia because of his gold-medal performance in the men’s platform diving in the Olympics. His victory was stunning, not only because he bested the favored Chinese diver, but also because he barely made it into the finals, just squeaking into the finals in eighteenth place. Boudia’s story is one of those Olympic tales that gladdens the heart and brings tears to the eyes. But there is more to his story than most of us know.
We got a hint of this larger story when Boudia was interviewed right after his disappointing performance in the prelims. Here’s the dialogue between NBC’s Alex Flanagan and Boudia:
Flanagan: Well, David, about as close as you can get, you make it into the semi-finals. Which of those dives, if any, would you take back?
Boudia: I mean, I wouldn’t take back any. It was a terrible prelim. But, you know, I was on the bubble. I got eighteenth. The coolest thing about this is that I know God is perfect and sovereign and if I made it great, if I didn’t, great. So I was totally content if I was on the bubble or out.
This comment goes beyond a winner giving credit to God. It shows a depth of faith that impressed me and made me wonder about David Boudia’s background. It turns out that he has not been a Christian for a long time. According to an article by Tim Ellsworth, after the 2008 Olympics, Boudia’s unhappiness led him into the “party scene” and then into depression. In the midst of his pain, he sought help from his coach, Adam Soldati, who shared the Gospel with Boudia. In a few weeks, Boudia put his faith in Christ and was baptized. He is a member of Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana.
Kudos to David Boudia for his victory in London. And kudos to those who have helped him grow into mature, articulate discipleship.