Purdue has a surprisingly good Olympic history. One of the most decorated Olympians of all-time was Ray Ewry, who won 10 gold medals in the early games of the 20th century. Since then, we've had our share of Olympians. SB Nation asked me to do a post or two this week about Purdue's favorite Olympics moment. I would argue that ours hasn't happened yet since everyone who saw Ewry perform is now long dead.
Our moment is possibly going to happen in a few weeks thanks to David Boudia. Boudia left Purdue a year early to turn pro and train for the 2012 London Olympics. Even in only three years he became the most accomplished diver in NCAA history with six NCAA championships and two more runner-up finishes. He already has one Olympics under his belt, finishing fifth with Thomas Finchum in the Synchro Platform event at the 2008 games.
Boudia has an excellent chance of medalling here in London in a few week. he has qualified for the Synchro event as well as the ten meter platform, and was a silver medalist on the 10m platform at the World Championships last year. Nick Zaccardi at Sports Illustrated wrote that he is a contender in London:
But only David Boudia, a 23-year-old recently engaged Purdue student, is expcted to medal in London. The 2011 world silver medalist on the platform ran away with from the competition by outdistancing his nearest competitor by 60 points with a 15-dive total of 1,642.4 points (almost identical to his margin of victory in 2008, when he scored 1,642.2 points). But these trials were different because USA Diving brought in a group of international judges to dampen the score inflation that can often accompany national meets. Boudia will have his hands full in London with two Chinese divers (including favorite Qiu Bo), defending Olympic champion Australian Matthew Mitcham and the host country's best diver, 2009 world champion Tom Daley.
"We're not really focused on results," Boudia told NBC. (USA Diving's new philosophy is to stress performance, not medals.) "But I know there's still more in the tank."
David has an extensive list of diving accomplishments:
- Senior National Titles: 16
- Pan American Games Medals: 1
- World Championship Medals: 3
- World Cup Medals: 2
- 2010 USA Diving Athlete of the Year
- Three-time NCAA Diver of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011)
- 2012 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials: Platform Synchro - 1st
- 2012 FINA World Cup: Platform - 4th, Platform Synchro - 4th (Nick McCrory)
- 2012 USA Diving Winter Nationals: Platform Syncho - 1st (Nick McCrory)
- 2011 AT&T National Diving Championships: Platform - 2nd
- 2011 FINA World Championships: Platform - 2nd, Platform Synchro - 5th (Nick McCrory)
- 2011 NCAA Championships: 1M - 1st; 3M - 1st; Platform - 2nd
- 2011 USA Diving Winter Nationals: Synchro Platform - 1st (Nick McCrory)
- 2010 AT&T National Diving Championships: Platform Synchro - 1st (Nick McCrory)
- 2010 FINA World Cup: Platform Synchro - 4th (Nick McCrory)
- 2010 AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix: Platform Synchro - 1st (Nick McCrory)
- 2010 USA Diving Winter Nationals: Platform - 1st; Platform Synchro - 1st (Thomas Finchum)
- 2010 NCAA Championships: 1M - 1st, 3M - 1st, Platform - 6th
- 2009 FINA World Championships: Platform - 6th, Platform Synchro - 3rd (Thomas Finchum)
- 2009 NCAA Championships: 1M - 2nd, 3M - 1st, Platform - 1st
- 2008 Olympic Games: Platform - 10th, Platform Synchro - 5th (Thomas Finchum)
- 2008 FINA Diving World Cup: Platform - 3rd; Platform Synchro - 6th (Thomas Finchum)
- 2007 FINA World Championships: Platform Synchro - 3rd (Thomas Finchum)
- 2007 Pan American Games: Platform Synchro - 1st (Thomas Finchum)
- 2006 FINA Diving World Cup: Platform Synchro - 2nd (Thomas Finchum)
David will begin his quest for a medal on July 30th in the men's 10m Synchro Finals. the platform singles competition is August 9-10 near the end of the games.
Boudia is not the only Boilermaker in search of English gold next month. Later this week I'll have an exclusive interview with American record holder in the javelin Kara Patterson as she prepares for the Olympic Trials. Good luck to both David and Kara as they take on the world!
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