Published August 11, 2012
Qiu Bo of China entered the 10-meter platform competition -- the marquee diving event at the Olympics -- as the overwhelming favorite. He won the men's platform at the 2011 World Championships, easily defeating David Boudia by over 40 points. On Saturday, Boudia got the best of Qiu, putting in the best dive of the competition with his final dive off the platform to capture Olympic gold.
It's the first gold medal in any diving event for the United States since 2000 and the first individual medal for a man since 1992. The last time an American man won on the platform was in 1988, when Greg Louganis captured gold.
"USA diving has four medals at the (London) Olympics, and maybe 1992 was the last time, and this brings a lot of hope for everyone on the team," said Boudia about the entire USA diving team's performance in London. "The world is slowly catching up to China and it's exciting."
Boudia also talked about Louganis and his contribution to the sport in the United States.
"To have Greg Louganis back in USA Diving and just being an athlete mentor means a lot for all of us athletes to know that we have an Olympic legend just giving us his wisdom, sharing his stories and who better person to have than Greg."
On his second to last dive, Boudia performed well, but not nearly as well as either Qiu or the home crowd favorite, Great Britain's Tom Daley. While Daley scored a 97.20 and Bo scored a 94.35 for their second to last dives, Boudia received a 91.80 for this effort.
This put Boudia into a position where he needed to be nearly perfect on his final dive or hope that his two closest competitors both made mistakes. Daley had the lead going into the final dive, while Qiu was tied with Boudia. The American rose to the occasion and executed a spectacular final dive, scoring a 102.6, the highest score that any diver received during the competition.
Qiu was stellar on his final dive as well, but his 100.8 score was not enough to overtake Boudia. Daley's final dive did not match the standard of either Qiu or Boudia, and he slipped to third place to claim a bronze medal.
Boudia always had a chance at gold if his second place finish in the World Championships was any indication On the other hand, Qiu's margin of victory last year, combined with the home crowd advantage that Daley had, made Boudia a distinct favorite to only show coming into the Olympics. He rose to the occasion by beating both of them, and not because either slipped up. Instead, he put up an incredibly high score to beat Qiu when the favorite put up a score that would have won almost any other meet.
For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.