WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Former Purdue diver David Boudia and current head diving coach Adam Soldati are set to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games again, traveling to London for the event that has been the focal point of their training over the last year.
Boudia is set to compete from the 10-meter platform both individually and in the synchronized competition with Duke's Nick McCrory. Boudia will represent Team USA in both competitions at the Olympics for the second time. As a 19-year-old in 2008, he placed 10th individually as the highest-scoring American male. In the synchronized competition, he placed fifth with partner Thomas Finchum.
In London this year, synchronized diving is set for Monday, July 30 at 10 a.m. ET. After having 10 days off, Boudia and McCrory will both compete individually from the 10-meter platform. The preliminaries are set for Friday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. ET. The top 18 performers in the preliminaries advance to the semifinals and the top 12 go onto the finals. The semifinal (5 a.m. ET) and finals (3:30 p.m.) are set for Saturday, Aug. 11.
Soldati is once again a part of the USA Diving coaching staff, headed up by Duke diving coaching Drew Johansen.
The London Games' Olympic Opening Ceremony kicks off the worldwide event on Friday, July 27. Along with its television coverage, NBC Sports will also be offering live video webcasts of all sports via NBCOlympics.com this year.
Boudia headlines a group of four former Boilermakers competing at the 2012 Olympic Games. Track and Field will be represented by Kara Patterson (javelin, USA) and Nedzed Mulabegovic (shot put, Croatia) and former women's soccer player Lauren
Sesselmann will play for Team Canada.
Older and wiser than four years ago at the Beijing Games, Boudia's first Olympic experience has provided enhanced perspective he didn't have four years ago.
"It's definitely a different journey this time around," Boudia said. "In 2008, it was a different experience. I didn't know what to expect going into Beijing. It was my first Olympic Games. Since coming to Purdue and going through the NCAA ranks and just getting more experience internationally, my confidence level with my diving has grown a lot and just the character behind it has just totally changed as far as perspective."
"I think one of the biggest differences for David, in '08 he was chasing after a lot of things he thought would bring him happiness and satisfaction, fame and glory and all that kind of stuff," Soldati said. "I think he realized after '08 that that doesn't satisfy. He really has a redefined purpose."
"Obviously, you have to get real with yourself. Bringing home an Olympic medal would be the ultimate achievement for my sport," Boudia said. "But I pictured it so many times in my head. Six months ago is really when you had to take that goal, put it on a shelf, put it behind you and then focus on one baby step at a time."
Now a two-time winner at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 10-meter platform and synchronized 10-meter platform, as well as a silver medalist in the 10-meter platform at the FINA World Championships last summer in China, Boudia has become one of the most prominent members of USA Diving. He has been featured on Coca-Cola cans and in Visa television commercials. He was the first American man to medal in 10-meter platform at the World Championships since 1986. In London, he's looking to become the first American to win an Olympic medal since Laura Wilkinson in 2000. An American man has not medaled since 1996.
"The silver at World Championships definitely set me up," Boudia said. "The judges see you as more of a contender. They see you are able to go through the adversity throughout the competition. Being around the judges, being around the different high-level athletes around the world puts you in a position where you're able to spring from that."
"One of my philosophies in coaching has always been, `It's not my job to make a champion, but it's my job to create the environment where one can become a champion,' " Soldati said. "One of the key elements to that environment is the people involved in that environment. What a special person in David Boudia to come in and not just have the ability at such a high level for everybody to watch him, but also to watch him grow in character. He is right there in the mix during practice, helping his competitors."
Another Boilermaker All-Access video interview of Boudia will be posted next week.