The American 10m platform divers at the Beijing Olympics are getting people excited. One reason is that they have medal potential in the individual event. The other reason is that a lot of people are finding the pair of Thomas Finchum and David Boudia to be very attractive and a convincing reason to watch barely covered men jump off a three story platform and hurl themselves towards the water at 30 miles per hour. Unfortunately, their swimsuits appear to be held on with superglue because that huge resulting impact has not been enough to dislodge the swimsuits one bit that we could see in the underwater shots. Therefore we will try to be content with focusing on the diving skills.
David Boudia, a 19 year old from Noblesville, Indiana. usually does a list of six dives that equals the highest degree of difficulty ever recorded. The list is rated even more difficult than that of Greg Louganis. More importantly, the collective difficulty of Boudia’s list of dives is even higher than that of the Chinese divers, who had won all seven gold medals at the Beijing Olympics up to the last event, which is the men’s 10m platform. Boudia’s total degree of difficulty is 21.0. That ties Sascha Klein, a 22-year-old German who won the World Cup, for the highest ever. When Boudia can do a superior job executing, the DD and execution gives him a good opportunity to medal.
American divers haven’t won any Olympic medals since Sydney. No male American diver has won a medal since the 1996 bronze on 3-meter by Indiana University graduate Mark Lenzi. With no U.S. medals won in 2004, the Indianapolis based USA Diving organization moved the national training center to Indianapolis and encouraged the country’s elite divers to move there to train together. We haven’t seen medal payoff yet, but things are definitely looking better.
It should be noted that both Boudia and Finchum have been compared to the great Greg Louganis. Boudia has been featured in an ESPN The Magazine bio titled “The Next . . . Greg Louganis?”
Speaking of Louganis, there is a lot of speculation on the internet about either Thomas Finchum or David Boudia being gay. Sports with an artistry component tend to engender that kind of commentary about their male athletes. They are both still too young to be publicly labeled on orientation yet, so peop
For more information on Thomas Finchum and David Boudia, see also: Trick Wire: Boudia, Finchum Both Want To Be The Top: Some Gay Sensibilities
In the preliminaries for the 10m, David Boudia and Thomas Finchum finished sixth and seventh with 481.70 and 477.00 points, respectively, which secured them a spot in the semifinals. Whew! The top 18 advance. In the semifinals the field will be trimmed to 12. Zhou Luxin of China led the qualification with 539.80 points. Australia’s Matthew Mitcham was second, with 509.60, and Russia’s Gleb Galperin third, with 499.95.
In the semifinals, David Boudia finished fifth and seventh with 491.55 and 474.95. That put them comfortably in the top 12 that advanced to the final.
Alas for the Americans, in the final it was not to be. Matthew Mitcham pulled out all of the stops and did an incredible sixth dive to grab the gold. With a 3.8 DD he received 4 10’s and 2 9.5’s to get an astronomical score of 112.10 for it. That was enough to push him in front of China’s Zhou Luxin, who had a terrible sixth dive (for him) and who then got the silver. Russia’s Gleb Galperin had a very impressive 6th dive, which placed him above China’s Huo Liang and earned Galperin the bronze.
dive in short of vertical
On to 2012.