Olympic Diving 2012: US Needs David Boudia to Turn Things Around Above the Pool

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor IAugust 10, 2012

David Boudia will attempt to add an individual medal in platform to his bronze in men's synchronized diving.
David Boudia will attempt to add an individual medal in platform to his bronze in men's synchronized diving.Clive Rose/Getty Images

The United States was off to a solid start in diving at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but they've been shut out thus far in the individual events and need David Boudia to get them back on track.

Diving began with the synchronized routines, and the U.S. picked up a trio of medals in four opportunities. Both the men and the women secured medals in the springboard finals, while Boudia and Nicholas McCrory picked up a bronze medal on the platform.

Diving then moved to individual performances and the pool got a bit dark for the U.S.

The women took sixth and seventh in the three-meter springboard final, while Troy Dumais did a bit better on the men's side by taking fifth. 

However, the women failed to even qualify a diver for the final in the platform event.

The men will now have their opportunity on the platform, closing out diving in the London Games. Boudia can salvage the 2012 Olympics for the U.S. by reaching the podium.

Boudia has the pedigree to earn a medal. While he's been better in synchronized events, the 23-year-old has been showing consistent improvement on the individual side.

He finished 10th on the platform in Beijing, but improved to sixth at the 2009 World Championships. He then won the silver medal at Worlds in 2011. 

Boudia also has numerous medal performances at the Wold Series of diving over the last two seasons.

The problem for Boudia is that this is the most competitive diving event at the London Games. It features the defending Olympic champion, Australia's Matthew Mitcham, along with the last two World Champions in Qiu Bo of China and Great Britain's Tom Daley.

The home crowd will help spur Daley, who is diving for his father who died of brain cancer last year.

However, at the same time, some of them may be pulling for Mitcham for a very different reason.

If I win gold at #London2012 I will dive off 10m naked to celebrate. RT @heygibbles: Will you do a skinny dip of honour if you get gold?

— Matthew Mitcham (@matthew_mitcham) August 8, 2012

Gleb Galperin won the bronze medal for Russia in 2008 and Sascha Klein of Germany, who finished just behind Boudia at the 2011 World Championships, will also be in the mix.

Three medals isn't a bad haul for the Olympics, and would likely have the U.S. in a tie for second behind China. 

However, getting shut out in individual events would be a poor showing for the American divers, an outcome Boudia has the talent to help them avoid. He has the difficulty to reach the podium as long as he executes well.