Getty Images

David Boudia takes international season off, to decide whether to retire

Leave a comment

David Boudia is taking an indefinite (and perhaps permanent) break from diving to pursue another career — real estate.

The four-time Olympic medalist won’t compete internationally this season and plans to announce in the late summer or fall whether he will return to the sport for a fourth Olympic run or retire.

“It’s a hard decision,” Boudia said, according to NBC’s affiliate in Indianapolis. “Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and I’m, like, ‘I do have more in the tank,’ and I get that itch, but I’ve not once since Rio looked and been, like, ‘Man, I miss training. I miss going to this competition.’

“I see posts of all my teammates going back to training, and there’s not, like, this burning desire in me to get back up on a three-story building and fling myself off and hurt the next day because you’ve trained really hard.”

Boudia will miss the world championships in July for the first time in his senior career, which has dated to 2005, when he was 16 years old. He might compete in the national championships in August.

Boudia, 27, earned individual platform gold and bronze at the last two Olympics and synchro bronze and silver in London and Rio, respectively. Only Greg Louganis owns more Olympic diving medals among Americans.

Boudia recently added a real-estate license and is now an agent for Keller Williams in Lafayette, Ind. He and wife Sonnie are expecting a second child.

If he returns to diving, Boudia said he may stick to one event to limit his training load, possibly springboard, according to the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis.

Boudia dabbled in springboard in the last Olympic cycle and even went 11 months between individual platform competitions.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Chinese diving legends retire after Rio

Alina Zagitova eyes more gold at worlds; women’s preview

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Alina Zagitova hasn’t lost internationally in 18 months, and that doesn’t figure to change this week at the world championships in Milan.

The 15-year-old Russian is favored to become the youngest world gold medalist since Tara Lipinski (duplicating her feat from the Olympics) and make it five straight Olympic or world titles for Russian women, the longest streak for one country since American Carol Heiss won six straight Olympic/world titles from 1956 through 1960.

Zagitova would also become the first Olympic women’s champion to win worlds the following month since Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992. That’s largely because Olympic champions usually skip worlds in Olympic years. Since Yamaguchi, the only one to compete was Yuna Kim, who grabbed silver in 2010.

Zagitova may be young, but she may not have the longevity of Kim to make it to a second Olympics. Russia turns over a new class of elite women’s skaters every year.

Two weeks ago, 13-year-old Alexandra Trusova won the world junior title as the first woman to land two different quadruple jumps in one program. Trusova isn’t old enough to compete at the senior worlds until 2020.

Zagitova’s current rival and training partner, Olympic silver medalist and 2016 and 2017 World champion Yevgenia Medvedeva, withdrew from worlds due to injury.

WORLDS: TV Schedule | Pairs Preview | Nagasu’s Outlook

Which leaves the last two Olympic bronze medalists, Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada and Carolina Kostner of Italy, plus PyeongChang fourth-place finisher Satoko Miyahara of Japan as the top challengers this week.

None finished within seven points of Zagitova at any competition this season, the Russian’s first on the senior international level.

Zagitova set herself apart at the Olympics by putting all of her jumps in the second half of her programs for 10 percent bonuses and landing them all with positive grades of execution.

The U.S. contingent includes national champion Bradie Tennell, two-time Olympian Mirai Nagasu and Mariah Bell (replacement for 2017 U.S. champion Karen Chen).

It is the end of a challenging season for U.S. women. In the autumn, none qualified for the Grand Prix Final for a second straight year (after at least one had done so each of the previous seven seasons).

In PyeongChang, no U.S. woman finished in the top six for the first time in Winter Games history. Tennell, who emerged this season after placing ninth at 2017 Nationals, was the top U.S. Olympic finisher in ninth.

Tennell goes into worlds as the top seeded American — seventh — by best international scores this season.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Best figure skating moments from PyeongChang

Olympic golf qualifying, format largely unchanged for 2020

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournaments qualifying and format will remain largely the same as they were for the sport’s return to the Games in 2016, according to Golf Channel, citing a memo sent to PGA Tour players.

The format will again be four rounds of stroke play with 60 men and 60 women taken from the world rankings, according to the report.

The qualifying window to determine the rankings will be July 1, 2018 to June 22, 2020 for men and July 8, 2018 to June 29, 2020 for women. That’s a slight change, as for 2016 the dates were the same for men and women.

The 2016 process saw a maximum of two men and two women per country, or up to four if they were ranked in the top 15.

Then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said one month after the Rio Games that he hoped the Olympic golf format would be changed to have more medals awarded.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Michael Phelps lost money to Barack Obama in golf, actor says