July 30, 2012
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LONDON -- Former Purdue diver David Boudia and Nick McCrory teamed up to win a bronze medal in synchronized 10-meter platform at the 2012 Olympic Games, becoming the first American duo to medal in the event since it was added to the program in 2000.
Boudia and McCrory took the bronze with a six-dive list score of 463.47. They closed their list strong with a high score of 95.04 on a back 2 ½ somersault 2 ½ twists pike. Only the gold-medal winning Chinese duo scored higher in the final round. Mexico won the silver.
"It's not real yet," Boudia said. "We were about ready to walk out and we were like, 'Oh, we just got third, we're bronze medalists.' I think it will sink in once you see your family, you celebrate, you're on the `Today' show."
"Praise God for that cool experience," said Purdue diving coach Adam Soldati, who is in London serving as a staff assistant for USA Diving. "The guys just kept fighting and clawing and found themselves on the award stand. I am so proud of them both for their incredibly hard work preparing for these games. We simply couldn't have done it without all the incredible support from Purdue over this last quad. Boiler up!"
The Americans are 2-for-2 after Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant earned a silver in 3-meter synchro springboard Sunday, ending a 12-year medal drought.
"The floodgates have opened," said U.S. high performance director Steve Foley, who began emphasizing success in the synchro events after Beijing. "They did it the hard way. It was a hell of a contest. It could have gone either way.
"I watched the Olympics on TV and pointed at it and said, `That's what I want to do,' and now I'm here," McCrory said. "I want the sport to grow. I just hope we inspired some people today."
Portions of the competition will be featured on NBC's television coverage tonight from 8 p.m. to midnight ET.
Boudia and McCrory will also compete individually from the 10-meter platform later in the Olympics. The preliminaries are set for Friday, Aug. 10 and the finals on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Boudia and McCrory scored 463.47 points, finishing third behind China's Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan (486.78) and Mexico's German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia (463.47).
"It still hasn't sunk in that I'm an Olympic medalist. It's such an incredible moment," McCrory said. "This is great for the sport. I hope we've inspired some kids to start diving."
The U.S. had won just three medals in the past four Games (and none in the past two), winning two medals in 1996 and one in 2000. Johnston and Bryant won silver in women's synchronized 3-meter on Sunday to end the 12-year drought.
"This is a testament to the leadership of USA Diving. We are on our way up," Boudia said.
Foley, who joined the USA Diving staff after the 2008 Games, shifted the philosophy from medals to performance and told the athletes to simply focus on performing their best rather than thinking too much about trying to win medals.
The result on Monday was a consistent effort by Boudia and McCrory, who scored no lower than 7.5 on any of their six dives. They scored 108.60 points on their two required dives and then scored more than 80 points on each of their four optionals, including 92.13 points on their front 4 ½ tuck, the most difficult dive on their list, in round four.
Heading into the last round, Boudia and McCrory were in third place, 9.27 points behind the Mexican squad and 5.58 points ahead of hometown favorites Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield of Great Britain.
Boudia and McCrory finished the contest with their best dive of the afternoon, scoring 95.40 points on their back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists. With four teams, including Great Britain and Mexico, still to dive, they played the waiting game.
"Neither of us looked at the scoreboard (during the competition). Nick and I just took it one dive at a time. We had no idea where we were in the standings, but we knew it was going to be close," Boudia said.
Next up for the U.S. divers is men's synchronized 3-meter, with four-time Olympian Troy Dumais and first-time Olympian Kristian Ipsen competing on Wednesday.
-- Stories by Beth Harris (Associated Press) & Jen Lowrey (USA Diving)