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David Boudia: God Made Me Free

Olympic Gold Medalist in diving, David Boudia knew there had to be more than fame and riches. He shares how his heart changed after the 2008 games. Read Transcript


In 2008, if you would have asked me to sit down

with the 700 Club, I would have been like, are you serious?

Like, no way.

You can keep your Jesus and do what you want with that,

but I'm over here and I'm going to do my thing for myself.

It's crazy to think what God can do to someone who

is so obsessed with himself.

Lay him flat on his face and say,

David you're not going to be the ruler of your life.


Just looking back at when I had this dream of wanting

to become an Olympian and that pursuit towards that goal.

I've tried to fill that with whatever I could,

because I thought ultimately this would bring me

happiness and joy.

And it was all for David's glory.

All for what David wanted, and I didn't worship

anyone else besides myself.

Everything that I thought of, everything that I pursued

was for my own gain.


My first Olympic games, I just realized

that it wasn't working.

There had to be something else besides this popularity

or this pleasure-- this desire that I

had to be rich and famous that this American dream promised


There had to be something more than that,

and I didn't know where to find that.

God changed my heart, and it was no longer look at me--

I'm the best.

Trying to be a visible representation

of an invisible god-- that's not the David of 2008.

God has redeemed me, and I've taken control of my life

to do that for him on a platform that I never

thought I would be at.

The London games was not a story I would've written whatsoever.

Going into the finals, I was the most nervous

I had been in a competition since I was 14 years old.

And I spoke to a good friend of mine.

And he said, David, what is there to be nervous about?

And I was like, OK, what are you getting at?

And he said, God has already written it.

It's already done.

What you get to do, what your opportunity is

is to be a vehicle for his glory.

So instantly, the weight was off my shoulders.


I just think of Philippeans 4:6.

It just talks about be anxious about nothing,

but in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make

your requests known to God.

And that was totally my perspective

that next day when I woke up was that.


My six dives in those finals, I was thinking about two things.

I had one cue.

One thing to think about of my takeoffs and making it strong.

And the other one was something my coach, Adam Soldati,

and I kind of made up years before the Olympics.

And it was 4:6.

And it just goes back to Philippeans 4:6-- that's

be anxious about nothing.


I knew that I put down six dives the best that I've ever

done in a competition.

And I got out of the water, and I

didn't care where I was finishing--

whether I was first or fifth.

I was content and happy because I knew I did my best.

And I walked over to Adam, and he embraced me and hugged me.

And I looked up and my name was first.

One Chinese diver still had to go.

And he hit the water.

My name didn't change.

And I still couldn't fathom-- so my name's first,

and there's no divers left.


That means I won?

And it was-- it's still a surreal moment to think back

at that specific moment.


Three months after the Olympics, in 2012, I

got married to my wife, Sunny.

And then two years after that, we had our first child, Dakota.

And so I get to be Dad.

I get to be David the husband.

And it's a totally different thing.

God has grown me so much in my communication with my wife.

The first year after the Olympics

it was atrocious-- just me trying to communicate and learn

how to navigate marriage.

And he's grown me in that so much.

And then, ultimately, trying to raise a little girl that

fears the Lord.


The road to Rio, leading up to that,

I think God has changed me most at really

wanting me to be responsible and to pursue excellence.

Romans 8:28 says, God works everything

for the good of those who love Him,

that are called according to His purpose.

And that purpose isn't for my happiness and my joy.

That purpose is so that I can become more like Christ daily.

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