WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Former Purdue diver David Boudia is set to return to active competition for the first time since winning two medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, traveling to Florida for the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix (May 9-12) in Fort Lauderdale and the World Championships Trials (May 15-20) in Tallahassee.
Boudia will be focusing strictly on the individual 10-meter platform in this month's competitions. At the 2012 Olympics, he won the gold medal in 10-meter platform diving as well as the bronze medal in synchronized 10-meter platform diving. Boudia's synchro teammate, Nick McCrory, is in the midst of a break from competition after winning his third platform diving NCAA title in March.
The six-day meet in Tallahassee will also serve as a qualifier for the World University Games, set for July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia. Three active Purdue divers will also compete at the Trials looking to earn a berth in the World University Games. Nate Cox, Sean Mokhtari and MacKenzie Tweardy are to compete in synchronized 10-meter platform. Tweardy's partner will be Minnesota's Sarah McCrady.
Boudia took three months off from diving after the 2012 Olympics to refresh and enjoy the limelight of being a gold medalist. He got married in the fall; he and his wife Sonnie are now homeowners in West Lafayette. Boudia has continued to train at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center where Purdue head diving coach Adam Soldati continues to serve as his coach.
Boudia has been part of the television show "Splash" on ABC for much of 2013. The show premiered in March but Boudia had been part of the filming of the weekly one-hour diving program since the beginning of the year. He said he was flying to Los Angeles on Wednesdays to film new episodes, usually taking a redeye flight home that same night. The season finale of "Splash" is set for Tuesday, May 7 at 8 p.m. ET.
While Boudia said he plans to employ the same dive list that he won the gold medal with in London, he characterized his current status of preparation at about 60 percent of where he was at entering the Olympics. The six-time NCAA champion said he expects the pre-competition nerves and butterflies to be there just like always. But Boudia said he wasn't feeling any added pressure to follow up his Olympic gold medal by sweeping every competition he is part of this year. Instead, he only focuses on performing to the best of his abilities and letting the results fall where they may.
Of the two meets in Florida this month, the USA Diving World Championships Trials is the more significant of the two. Boudia said the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix will serve as a tune up for Trials in Tallahassee. If he can qualify for the World Championships, it should be his only other competition of the year. The diving veteran said in past years, he had 15 or more meets on his schedule.
The USA Diving World Championships Trials will be held at Morcom Aquatics Center on the campus of Florida State University from May 15-20. The 2013 FINA World Championships are set for July 19 through Aug. 4 in Barcelona, Spain. The top two finishers in each diving event will earn berths for Team USA in the World Championships.
Boudia won silver from the 10-meter platform at the 2011 World Championships in China, becoming the first American man to medal in the event at the World Championships since 1986.
The AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix is the lone U.S. stop on the six-country FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) international Grand Prix tour. Now in its 44th year, the USA Diving Grand Prix competition regularly draws top international athletes, Olympic and World champions. It is being held at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex/International Swimming Hall of Fame.
The 2013 event is expected to draw more than 120 divers from 21 countries, including 40 2012 Olympians - and seven who medaled at the London Olympics. The men's 10-meter platform semifinals are set for May 9 at 5 p.m. and the finals are May 11 at 1:45 p.m.