IM caught up with Boudia to discuss his preparation for Rio and what has brought him to this point.
We’re coming up on your third Olympic Games. What has this journey been like?
So each Olympics has been a lot different, both with where I am as a person but also where I am as a diver. I think going into my third Olympic Games, having a family, having a wife, having a child that I’m responsible for and then also trying to train, it’s been all about balance. I would say that’s the theme of these Olympic games: knowing how to balance the lifestyle and the work that it takes to go to the Olympics and then also making sure that I’m being the best husband and father that I can. It was way different in 2012. It was just me. In 2008, it was just me. But I wouldn’t change this for the world.
You qualified for Rio in Indy. As someone who grew up in the surrounding area, what does it mean for you to represent your hometown?
Yeah, I grew up in Noblesville, so just right up the road from Indy. I trained in Indianapolis growing up. That’s where I learned how to dive. I trained there every day. Being able to qualify for my third Olympics in my hometown, my home state, it’s almost exciting because you have that many more friends and that much more family right there that gets to watch. This is my third Olympic Games representing our good state and our awesome city, Indy. So hopefully we can do a repeat of London and bring back some gold medals.
You’re currently partnered with Uncrustables and their #unstoppable campaign. So as someone who is already an Olympic gold medalist, how do you stay motivated to remain unstoppable?
A lot of that comes from my girls at home. I don’t think I would be able to be half the dad or half the husband that I am without my wife. So I think that makes me unstoppable with such an awesome partner to do that with. Being able to be a dad, it rocked my world. It’s one of the hardest things that I’ve done, even more so than training. But there’s nothing more rewarding. Even winning a gold medal doesn’t compare to what it’s like to come walk through that door and hearing your little girl say “Dada” and run up and give you a hug. So just those little moments help to make me unstoppable.
Who would you say you turn to when things get challenging?
My faith is my number one driver. My wife and I have a strong faith. That’s where we get our perspective. We help push each other daily for that. [Without] my family and my coach and just the people that are in my circle, I don’t think I’d be able to do half of what I’ve done. That includes supporters like Uncrustables. Having supporters is crucial when it comes to competing, because you know it’s not just you on that podium at the end of the day—it’s all the people that have helped get you to that point.
What sort of things do you do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? [laughs] So my family and I are really active. I’m annoyingly competitive. You could ask my wife, Sunny, and she’ll agree, like, “Yeah, he needs to win on everything.” We’re constantly playing sports outside and playing card games and board games. I covet my family time, so when I’m not in the pool I want to be around my family as much as possible and spend time with them. So that takes up a lot of my free time.
Do you have any advice for fellow Hoosiers that may have Olympic ambitions?
I think when we look at the Olympics, it can be a little intimidating. One of the things that I’ve learned over my past two Olympic Games is learning how to do it at baby steps. Taking it one step at a time. Instead of seeing this huge elephant you have to eat, it’s like taking it one bite at a time. I think that helps put it in perspective for me. Another cool thing that Uncrustables is doing is #unstoppablemoments. It’s cool for me to read unstoppable moments from fans. So whether that’s the Hoosier that has aspirations of going to the Olympic games or this mom that’s a rockstar mom, I want to hear those moments. I think it helps encourage me going into the Olympics to know that people are not just Olympians doing unstoppable things but people who are watching the Olympics are doing it too. It’s cool to be a part of their journey.
Have any of these moments jumped out at you that you like especially?
I’m a little biased because I love hearing my wife’s stories when I come home from practice. Of just these little moments and things that she has to do. The things that I would take for granted, like walking to the park with a two-year-old, seem easy, but when you actually are going to do it there’s a lot more. You’re trying to make sure she’s not running in the pond and just these little things. I think hearing my family’s unstoppable moments are encouraging to me. With the more and more that come, I’m sure there will be some inspiring moments.
Going into Rio, do you have any concerns or fears due to the issues that are currently preventing some athletes from competing?
I’ve had this question a lot. It’s not scary for me to answer. My wife and I wanted to plan another child in our family, but we had to put it on hold because of Zika. So it does hit close to home, for sure. But we knew going into this year that our goal was Rio, and my wife wanted to go to support me and encourage me. So we put off our planning and will take it back up after the Olympic Games. We know that Olympic officials are giving us all the information we need as far as precautions. So we’re going to do that and hope for the best. I know that with the past two Olympic Games that I’ve been in, there’s always been some sort of hype coming into the games as far as security or environmental issues or political issues. This one’s no different. Every games that I’ve been to have been absolutely amazing. I don’t think Rio will disappoint.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Rio besides, of course, diving?
Besides competing, because I have such a large portion of my family that will be there, being able to enjoy the games with them. We’re going to different events with my family and my wife and her sister and my brother-in-law to experience the Olympic games kind of as a fan too. So I’ll have some off time between my events to be able to do that.