Greater Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption by David Boudia with Tim Ellsworth
The Rio Olympics in the summer of 2016 were an exhilarating time for athletes from around the globe, not least of which were the US Olympic diving team. We only get a small snapshot of the training of these dedicated athletes. David Boudia, 10m platform diver and winner of the gold medal in London tells his story of heartbreak and victory in his compelling book, Greater Than Gold. In its pages, Greater Than Gold takes us inside the competitive spirit of David, his quest to become better in his diving, but also looks at his struggles with drinking, his encounter with a teacher who loved him enough to share the good news with him, and his life after believing in Jesus Christ.
One of the humbling and gracious parts of the book was David’s memory of his devoted family, and how they carried his dream with him. David writes, “On those days, she’d pick me up at school at two in the afternoon, drive an hour to practice, stat there with me for about four hours, and then drive an hour home. That was six hours of her day that she wasn’t spending at home with me sisters or my dad. Mom really had to give up a lot of her time for to me to train, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for her efforts (24).” His family really sacrificed for his Olympic dreams to come true and I was glad to see that David mentioned the support he got from them.
The real joy in the story comes not from the embrace of Olympic gold at London, nor the many other medals that David won in his platform diving, but the joy he found in his Savior. Through the witness and friendship of his coach, Adam and his wife Kimiko, David saw the road that his self-centered life was leading. He writes, “God’s grace was telling me, through the words of Adam and Kimiko and the scriptures they shared with me, that my insistence on being God was creating my misery (87).” From this point on, David turned to the Lord, got involved in discipleship, and really focused his life on the Lord, but this didn’t keep him from falling flat on his face.
It was David’s honesty that made me see that believers often sugarcoat their lives and even their sin. In David’s memory, the way he treated his future bride Sonnie, was not in many ways the way a man should pursue a woman toward marriage. Yet, he was willing to grow in faith and in maturity through many struggles, not willing to let go of her in the end. This persevering attitude was something that he learned through dive after dive, and after many people called him to live a life of faithfulness to God.
Many thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.