David Boudia, at home instead of in Tokyo, uses Olympic delay to master new event

0 Comments

Olympic diving champion David Boudia was supposed to be in Tokyo right now. Instead, he’s home in Indiana chasing his three kids, all 5 years and younger.

“It’s a different time for all of us,” Boudia told Mike Tirico on NBCSN’s Lunch Talk Live on Thursday. “But, at the end of the day, this is not about just one person or one athlete or even one nation. This is a global epidemic, so we’re just trying to do what we can at home.”

Boudia, who won the 2012 Olympic platform title, is bidding for his fourth Olympics and his first on the springboard.

After earning two medals in Rio, Boudia took 2017 off from diving to sell homes. In February 2018, he suffered a concussion on a badly missed dive in training off the 10-meter platform, sparking the switch to springboard, a common move for divers late in their careers.

Last year, Boudia won a national title on the springboard. He finished fifth at the world championships. Goal accomplished. Boudia knew he needed to increase his difficulty for the Olympic year.

“It was different. I’m used to jumping off a three-story building, 33 feet up in the air,” Boudia told Tirico. “Transferring to a three-meter springboard, it puts a little spin on things, but the transition was smooth because I dove it at Purdue University for NCAAs. I’ll have to say, Mike, the next 14 months has kind of helped add some motivation where I can get that much better since I just switched to it right after the Rio Games. The more time, the better. Let’s see what it looks like two weeks from now, four weeks from now and then ultimately July 2021.”

Boudia’s next international competition could be the FINA World Cup, which was due to be held next week in Tokyo. When it is rescheduled, it is expected to be the last chance for nations to qualify quota spots for the Olympics. Boudia was expected to enter the synchronized springboard with his Rio Olympic platform partner, Steele Johnson.

Diving typically has an Olympic Trials, where the top two individuals per event can qualify for the Games, plus the top team per synchro event (assuming the U.S. qualifies the quota spots).

Boudia wants to become the first U.S. diver to compete on the platform and the springboard over an Olympic career since Mark Ruiz, who did both in 2000.

“Initially, athletes, you look at this, and it’s daunting,” Boudia said. “You’ve trained extremely hard the past four years. For us to be pushed back another year, it just seems, all that work you’ve done, now you do another 15 months of that. It’s overwhelming at times, but at the same time, at the end of the day, there’s a blessing to it. What are the things in my offseason that I couldn’t get to? What can I do now, planning forward, for the next 14 months that’s going to get me where I want to be in Tokyo 2021?”

MORE: Full Olympic Games Week TV, live stream schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Elena Fanchini, medal-winning Alpine skier, dies at 37

Elena Fanchini
Getty
0 Comments

Italian skier Elena Fanchini, whose career was cut short by a tumor, has died. She was 37.

Fanchini passed away Wednesday at her home in Solato, near Brescia, the Italian Winter Sports Federation announced.

Fanchini died on the same day that fellow Italian Marta Bassino won the super-G at the world championships in Meribel, France; and two days after Federica Brignone — another former teammate — claimed gold in combined.

Sofia Goggia, who is the favorite for Saturday’s downhill, dedicated her win in Cortina d’Ampezzo last month to Fanchini.

Fanchini last raced in December 2017. She was cleared to return to train nearly a year later but never made it fully back, and her condition grew worse in recent months.

Fanchini won a silver medal in downhill at the 2005 World Championships and also won two World Cup races in her career — both in downhill.

She missed the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics because of her condition.

Fanchini’s younger sisters Nadia and Sabrina were also World Cup racers.

USA Boxing to skip world championships

USA Boxing
Getty
0 Comments

USA Boxing will not send boxers to this year’s men’s and women’s world championships, citing “the ongoing failures” of the IBA, the sport’s international governing body, that put boxing’s place on the Olympic program at risk.

The Washington Post first reported the decision.

In a letter to its members, USA Boxing Executive Director Mike McAtee listed many factors that led to the decision, including IBA governance issues, financial irregularities and transparency and that Russian and Belarusian boxers are allowed to compete with their flags.

IBA lifted its ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers in October and said it would allow their flags and anthems to return, too.

The IOC has not shifted from its recommendation to international sports federations last February that Russian and Belarusian athletes be barred, though the IOC and Olympic sports officials have been exploring whether those athletes could return without national symbols.

USA Boxing said that Russian boxers have competed at an IBA event in Morocco this month with their flags and are expected to compete at this year’s world championships under their flags.

“While sport is intended to be politically neutral, many boxers, coaches and other representatives of the Ukrainian boxing community were killed as a result of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, including coach Mykhaylo Korenovsky who was killed when a Russian missile hit an apartment block in January 2023,” according to the USA Boxing letter. “Ukraine’s sports infrastructure, including numerous boxing gyms, has been devastated by Russian aggression.”

McAtee added later that USA Boxing would still not send athletes to worlds even if Russians and Belarusians were competing as neutrals and without their flags.

“USA Boxing’s decision is based on the ‘totality of all of the factors,'” he said in an emailed response. “Third party oversite and fairness in the field of play is the most important factor.”

A message has been sent to the IBA seeking comment on USA Boxing’s decision.

The women’s world championships are in March in India. The men’s world championships are in May in Uzbekistan. They do not count toward 2024 Olympic qualifying.

In December, the IOC said recent IBA decisions could lead to “the cancellation of boxing” for the 2024 Paris Games.

Some of the already reported governance issues led to the IOC stripping IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition in 2019. AIBA had suspended all 36 referees and judges used at the 2016 Rio Olympics pending an investigation into a possible judging scandal, one that found that some medal bouts were fixed by “complicit and compliant” referees and judges.

The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

Boxing was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games announced in December 2021, though it could still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” IOC President Thomas Bach said then.

This past June, the IOC said IBA would not run qualifying competitions for the 2024 Paris Games.

In September, the IOC said it was “extremely concerned” about the Olympic future of boxing after an IBA extraordinary congress overwhelmingly backed Russian Umar Kremlev to remain as its president rather than hold an election.

Kremlev was re-elected in May after an opponent, Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands, was barred from running against him. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in June that van der Vorst should have been eligible to run against Kremlev, but the IBA group still decided not to hold a new election.

Last May, Rashida Ellis became the first U.S. woman to win a world boxing title at an Olympic weight since Claressa Shields in 2016, taking the 60kg lightweight crown in Istanbul. In Tokyo, Ellis lost 3-0 in her opening bout in her Olympic debut.

At the last men’s worlds in 2021, Robby Gonzales and Jahmal Harvey became the first U.S. men to win an Olympic or world title since 2007, ending the longest American men’s drought since World War II.

The Associated Press and NBC Olympic research contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!