After earning their spots on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team in men’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving, partners David Boudia and Steele Johnson now have the opportunity to compete against each other as well after they took the top two places in the individual 10-meter competition at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Diving Sunday evening at Indiana University’s Natatorium in Indianapolis.
The evening began as a three-way battle for the two Olympic spots, with Boudia 45.45 points ahead of Johnson, while David Dinsmore was a close third, lurking only 7.9 points back. Boudia showed that he hasn’t lost the form that made him Olympic champion in London, steadily building his lead to finish with 1,534,40 points, 59.25 points ahead of Johnson’s 1,475.15. Dinsmore finished third, 12.0 points behind Johnson with 1,463.15 points.
Making his third Olympic team, Boudia, 27, placed sixth in his first Olympic competition in Beijing. He placed fifth in synchronized 10-meter at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with Thomas Finchum before winning the with Nick McCrory in London. Having won individual silver medals at the last three world championships, Boudia is the first American since Greg Louganis to medal at three consecutive worlds. He has won 20 national championships and was named USA Diving Athlete of the Year six times. A six-time NCAA champion for Purdue University, he received a communications degree there in 2013. Since winning his two medals in London, Boudia has added even better prizes: He married his wife Sonnie in October 2012 and welcomed their first child, a daughter named Dakoda, in September 2014.
Johnson, who turned 20 a week ago, makes his Olympic debut in Rio. He is a seven-time national team member and 10-time national champion. The 2015 NCAA platform and 1-meter champion as a freshman at Purdue, he took an Olympic practice waiver for the 2015-16 season to focus on training for the Rio.
The United States has a strong tradition in the men’s individual 10-meter platform event. Since it first was held at the St. Louis 1904 Olympic Games, the United States medaled in all but two Games that it participated in through the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, but then went through a medal drought that was broken by Boudia’s gold in London.
With the men’s 10-meter platform slots decided, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Diving Team is now set. Joining Boudia and Johnson from the 10-meter platform are Jessica Parrotto and Katrina Young for the women’s individual event and Parrotto and Amy Cozad in synchronized. The 3-meter springboard divers are Kristian Ipsen and Michael Hixon in the men’s individual event, while Kassidy Cook and Abby Johnston will compete on the women’s side. Hixon and Sam Dorman are the U.S. entries in the men’s synchronized event. The U.S. did not qualify a women’s synchronized 3-meter team.