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David Boudia to return to diving, eyes fourth Olympics

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David Boudia wants to make a fourth Olympic diving team, and hopefully add to his collection of four medals in Tokyo.

The 2012 Olympic platform champion announced in a news conference Tuesday that he will return after taking the 2017 competition season off.

“I just missed the relationships that I had at the pool, that I had with the diving community,” Boudia, 28, said in West Lafayette, Ind., where he trains at Purdue University. “I don’t want to be 35, 40 years old and say what if I would have given it another shot? Kind of too late at that point.”

Boudia has actually kept this a secret for weeks. He’s been training since June with an eye on a run for the 2020 Games.

“This decision wasn’t easy,” Boudia said. “Leading up to Rio [2016], I was mentally exhausted. It was actually a really hard route getting to the Olympics. … Just not wanting to be there. I was in competition on the big stage and just wondering if the grass was greener on the other side.”

Boudia, after never taking more than three months away from diving since 2000, turned to real estate last winter. But he never committed to retirement. Wait and see.

“If you would have asked me in 2015 if I was done [after Rio], I would have said yes; I was drained,” Boudia said. “One of the big reasons, apart from being exhausted mentally, I just felt like [diving] wasn’t what I was supposed to do. You have all the people saying, oh, you’re getting older. You’re 28. You need to start retiring, thinking about what you’re going to do next in life. It’s fun banter. My teammates would call me grandpa. In my mind, I was thinking, maybe it’s time for me to be done in the sport. I let it simmer.”

He met with his coach, Adam Soldati, in January and March before climbing the platform again in June.

Boudia, from Noblesville, Ind., won platform gold at the 2012 London Games, ending a medal drought for U.S. divers in individual events since Laura Wilkinson‘s surprise Sydney 2000 title.

Boudia became the first U.S. male diver to top the Olympic platform since Greg Louganis, who swept the springboard and platform in 1984 and 1988.

He did so after squeaking into the 18-man semifinals in 18th place and edging China’s Qiu Bo by 1.8 points in the final.

Boudia then came back for a third Olympics in Rio — after marrying wife Sonnie and welcoming daughter Dakoda — and earned a bronze medal.

That gave him four Olympic medals overall, combined with synchronized platform bronze and silver medals in 2012 and 2016. Boudia said in February that he would take the 2017 international season off while working in real estate and assessing his diving future.

Before the Rio Games, Boudia revealed his struggles with alcohol and marijuana as a teenager a decade earlier.

He competed at the 2004 Olympic Trials at age 15 but was never going to dive at the Athens Games. He would have failed a drug test if he made the team for smoking pot shortly before the meet.

Boudia suffered from depression — even suicidal thoughts — after his Olympic debut in 2008 and while at Purdue shortly after the Beijing Games.

He credited among others Adam Soldati, his coach at Purdue and through Rio, for guidance, helping him clean up and become a Christian in 2010.

Without Boudia, the U.S. earned zero medals in Olympic events at the world diving championships in July, getting shut out at the biennial meet for the first time since 2003.

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MORE: Chinese diving legend emotionally retires

Tom Daley wins 10m platform gold at Worlds on final dive

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After missing out on the men’s 10m platform finals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Great Britain’s Tom Daley won gold at the 2017 FINA Diving World Championships. Daley, who won bronze in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics won his last world championship 10m platform gold back in 2009 when he was just 15 years old.

Daley was awarded four 10’s on his final dive in Budapest, Hungary, beating China’s Chen Aisen – the reining 2016 Olympic champion in men’s 10m platform. The two divers tied on their last dive, both earning 106.20 points, but Daley, who had been in command after each of his dives on Saturday, beat Chen out for the top spot by 5.7 points.

Daley’s struggles in Rio were inexplicable. In the preliminary round, he scored 571.85 points, a personal best, and a score which would have won him gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games. However, in semifinal dives, Daley could not execute, finishing 18th in an event where only the top 12 advance to the finals.

Earlier in the day in Budapest, Daley, along with teammate Grace Reid, won silver in the mixed 3m springboard event. On Monday, in the men’s synchronized 10m platform, Daley and teammate Danie Goodfellow finished fourth.

The sole U.S. diver in the men’s 10m platform event in Budapest, David Dinsmore, finished sixth. Dinsmore who narrowly missed out on making his first Olympic team at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials, won bronze in Budapest with teammate Krysta Palmer in the mixed team event.

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MORE: U.S. men look to fill Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte void at swim worlds

Diving world championships schedule on Olympic Channel

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Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA event coverage kicks off with the world diving championships from Budapest this weekend.

The Olympic Channel, NBCSN and NBCSports.com/live will combine to air every semifinal and final from Saturday through July 22.

Check the Channel Finder to see how you can watch the Olympic Channel in your area.

The U.S. roster at worlds is led by Olympic synchronized medalists Steele JohnsonSam Dorman and Michael Hixon.

David Boudia, a quadruple Olympic medalist, is missing worlds for the first time since 2003 as he takes a (possibly permanent) break from competition.

Powerhouse China is without its two stalwarts, Chen Ruolin and Wu Minxia, who retired after Rio.

However, all of the Chinese individual gold medalists from Rio are back — springboard divers Cao Yuan and Shi Tingmao and platform divers Chen Aisen and Ren Qian.

The Olympic Channel will launch in more than 35 million homes starting Saturday, available to most subscribers of Altice, AT&T DirecTV, Comcast, Spectrum and Verizon. It will also be available on streaming services DirecTV Now, Fubo, Hulu, Sony PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV.

The Olympic Channel will live stream on OlympicChannel.com, the Olympic Channel app, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Select replays and highlights will be available on those platforms and TeamUSA.org.

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MORE: 2000 Olympic champ announces diving comeback

Day Event Final Time (ET) Network
Saturday, July 15 Mixed Synchro Platform 7-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel
Women’s 1m Springboard 10-11:30 a.m. Olympic Channel
Men’s Synchro Springboard 12:30-2 p.m. Olympic Channel
Sunday, July 16 Men’s 1m Springboard 9:30-11 a.m. Olympic Channel
Women’s Synchro Platform 9-10:30 p.m.* Olympic Channel
Monday, July 17 Women’s Synchro Springboard 10-11:30 a.m. Olympic Channel
Men’s Synchro Platform 12:30-2 p.m. Olympic Channel
Tuesday, July 18 Women’s Platform (Semi) 9:30-11 a.m. Olympic Channel
Team Event 12:30-2 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, July 19 Men’s 3m Springboard (Semi) 9:30-11 a.m. Olympic Channel
Women’s Platform 12:30-2 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday, July 20 Women’s 3m Springboard (Semi) 9:30-11 a.m. Olympic Channel
Men’s 3m Springboard 12:30-2 p.m. Olympic Channel
Friday, July 21 Men’s Platform (Semi) 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.* Olympic Channel
Women’s 3m Springboard 12:30-2 p.m. Olympic Channel
Saturday, July 22 Mixed Synchro Springboard 8-9:30 a.m. Olympic Channel
Men’s Platform 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Olympic Channel

*Same-Day Delay