David Boudia Qualifies for Third Olympic; Synchro Partner Steele Johnson Makes First

David Boudia, London 2012 - Photo Courtesy: Toni L. Sandys

INDIANAPOLIS – David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after winning the men’s synchronized 10-meter event Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving.

With the victory, Boudia qualifies for his third Olympic Games, while Johnson will head to Rio de Janeiro for his first Olympics.

“It’s 12 years of emotions all coming out at once. It’s a lot. I don’t know, I just waited for this day for so long. I’ve dreamed about this day for so long, and the fact that now that it’s here, it’s official. I never thought it would be real so it’s like, it’s crazy. And I get to be a part of it alongside the person I grew up idolizing. He is just such an awesome influence on me. It’s crazy that we’re in this situation and cooler than I ever thought it would be,” the 20-year-old Johnson said.

Boudia won a bronze medal in synchronized 10-meter with Nick McCrory in 2012 and finished fifth with Thomas Finchum in 2008. Boudia said making his third Olympic team had extra special meaning.

“It’s hard to put it into words, but I can say that out of the three Olympics that I’ve made, I think this one is probably the most emotional. I barely got choked up winning the Olympic gold, and I think this moment is so much more special because I can share it with Steele,” Boudia said. “It’s been a long four years, and a hard four years, and I will say with confidence that I would not able to do what I’ve done without Steele training alongside me, pushing me. The kid is good and I don’t want him to beat me. He pushes me at practice every single day, but more importantly what I like about him is his character and who he is as a man.”

Boudia and Johnson dominated the field, finishing with 1326.57 points over three lists of dives – 238.02 points ahead of Ryan Hawkins (Charlotte, N.C./Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Toby Stanley (Indianapolis, Ind./Durham, N.C.). In Thursday’s finals, Boudia and Johnson scored 491.01 points, including 101.01 points on a front 4 ½ tuck – a dive they struggled with in prelims and semis. Their inward 3 ½ tuck earned five 10s for 91.20 points, and they scored 93.84 points on their reverse 3 ½ tuck.

“This is what we needed. I knew we were capable of diving like this. This was in our bag of tricks and we train like this. But for it actually play out in competition especially right before Rio, this is exactly what we wanted,” Boudia said.

Individual finals in men’s 10-meter are set for Sunday. Boudia heads into the individual finals in first place, with Johnson in second. Two divers will be named to the team in the individual 10-meter event.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving continue through Sunday, June 26. There is no competition scheduled for Friday. Action resumes Saturday at 4:30 p.m. with men’s 3-meter finals, followed by women’s 10-meter finals at 8 p.m.

Courtesy of USA Diving. 

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