Boudia and Johnson win synchronized 10-meter silver at Rio Olympic Games

By USA Diving | Aug. 08, 2016, 9:30 p.m. (ET)

RIO DE JANEIRO – David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) won the silver medal in synchronized 10-meter on Monday, the first day of Olympic competition for the U.S. divers.

Boudia and Johnson scored 457.11 points to finish second to China’s Chen Aisen and Lin Yue, who won with 496.98 points. Great Britain’s Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow were third at 444.45.

Boudia and Johnson were in second place the entire contest and scored more than 80 points on all four of their optional dives, including 95.04 points on their final dive – a back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists – although they did not know until the end of the contest where they were in the standings.

“We had no idea where we were. David doesn’t look at the scores when he dives, and I’ve kind of copied him. He’s mentored me, and so I never look at the scores between rounds. I had no idea and he had no idea. It was just another dive, another back twister. We just went in and tried to do it the best we could and wherever we fall, we fall. Knowing we left everything at the pool is all we can do,” Johnson said.  

Boudia is competing in his third Olympic Games, while the 20-year-old Johnson made his Olympic debut in Rio. The silver medal was Boudia’s third career Olympic medal after having won gold in individual platform and bronze in synchronized 10-meter with Nick McCrory four years ago in London.

“Just because I’ve been to three Olympics and I’ve won a gold medal doesn’t mean I’m not vulnerable to anxiety. I had a lot of anxiety going into this week, and I just kind of had to keep things in perspective,” Boudia said. “These six dives were some of the best we’ve done. Obviously there’s more in the tank, but this has been a phenomenal journey for both of us, and I don’t think I would have been able to go through it without a friend like Steele.”  

After their final dive, Johnson stood on the pool deck and had tears in his eyes, for a number of reasons.

“It’s been such a long journey. We’ve had a rough year, synchro wise. We’ve had some tough competitions, but the fact that it went the best it possibly could when it mattered the most was really important to me. We did that last dive the best we could. We left it all out there. When I saw the score, I knew we had gotten a medal. It was a mix of excitement, joy, happiness,” Johnson said.

Even though Boudia is the veteran, he said he relies on Johnson as much as Johnson relies on him for guidance and that’s what helps make their partnership successful.

“This is my third Olympic Games, but this is both of us carrying each other’s weight. Steele pushes and encourages me just like I do with him. It was cool, walking up those stairs together tonight, it was just like we were back at Purdue University in training. We were at ease. Yes, we’re at the Olympic Games and there’s millions of people watching, but this was the most fun I’ve had a competition in a really long time.”

Boudia and Johnson will compete again on August 19 in the men’s individual 10-meter preliminaries. Diving competition continues with Amy Cozad (Indianapolis, Ind./Bloomington, Ind.) and Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Bloomington, Ind.) in the women’s synchronized 10-meter event on Tuesday, August 9.