American platform diver David Boudia had made it to the world’s biggest stage. His hours upon hours of hard work earned him a berth on the US Olympic Team at the 2008 Summer games in Beijing. Now was the time. His nearly life-long dream of gold could come true.
Instead, David didn’t perform as he hoped. Missing the medal stand in both his events, he faced an unexpected reality. He had made it all the way to the Olympics, but he wasn’t fulfilled; it wasn’t enough.
He turned to substance abuse in an effort to cope, and finally, as he spiraled to his lowest moments, he contemplated ending his own life.
“I think people would read my story and go – ‘You were in the Olympics! You had it all together. Why would you want to commit suicide?'”
“I think people commit suicide for a lot of reasons, but a lot of people would say they do it because how much worse could it be? You taste everything that you think will bring you happiness, and it doesn’t. Now that was what I was experiencing at that time. What’s the point? Everything supposed to bring me happiness wasn’t doing it.”
But David’s story doesn’t end there. He reached out to someone he trusted, and a conversation was about to change everything.
“Before I even acted out, I reached out to my coach and I went over to his home later that week. I was expecting at that time he was going to give me this quick fix. That’s exactly the opposite of what he gave me. He gave me the gospel. He told me about faith.”
“I didn’t want anything to do with it whatsoever. But actually, I remember sitting in the rocking chair that night with the earplugs popping out of my ears and I was receptive to this thing called the gospel that he was telling me about.”
“It was probably three or four weeks after that, when I started investigating myself God’s word that I started to see that I do need someone beside myself to save me. That’s what he gave me instead of the quick fix.”
David Boudia is one of only four American men in history to win four or more Olympic diving medals – including gold in London’s 2012 summer games. He added two more medals to his career tally in last month’s Rio games. He’s authored the new book,On the Road with David Boudia