A for Athlete

Perfect 10s: Boudia, Finchum flash perfection at trials

  • Diving in Syncronized Diving and 10-meter platform in 2008 Olympics in Beijing


Thomas Finchum, 12/1/1989,


  • Thomas Finchum scored three 10s in the 10-meter platform event at US Diving Trials in Indy in 2008.
  • 18 in 2008
  • Boudia and Finchum grew up in the Indianapolis area
  • David Boudia -- his training and synchronized partner, not to mention the guy he considers "a brother" -- responded to Finchum's encouragement with four 10s of his own.

July 2008

  • Boudia, Finchum win United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States.svg diving trials - 07/26/08 - PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- David Boudia and Thomas Finchum scored a career-high 464.04 points to win the 10-meter synchronized platform title at the United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States.svg national diving championships in July 2008 in their final meet before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.


"David stepped up to the end of the tower saying, 'Thomas just set me up.' They do that in practice on a regular basis," said their coach, John Wingfield. "It's fun. It's almost like a little one-upsmanship."


The finals are Sunday, June 23, 2008, and only the winner at these Olympic trials gets an automatic berth. The second spot will be chosen at a selection camp in Tennessee next month, but it seems all but assured that whoever finishes as the runner-up will be the other choice.

"We really do push each other," Finchum said. "We really do push each other. I don't want it to be anyone else on that team with me but David. He's like a brother. I want to beat him, but I want to support him, too."

Boudia has totaled 1,091.90 points through the preliminaries and semifinals, guarding the lead he had before anyone took a dive. He received 65 bonus points before the competition started as a reward for his third-place finish at the World Cup in Beijing this year.

"It's almost like performing on stage, and I look forward to showing off Sunday," he said.

Finchum had the highest-scoring round of his career, posting 541.30 points in the semis for a two-round total of 1,065.25.

"It's definitely exciting to get your personal best and know you can still do better," he said. "I'll go out there Sunday and hopefully beat that one."

He received at least one 10 on three of his six dives, but Boudia got the best of his buddy in the fourth round.

Going just ahead of Boudia, Finchum earned three 10s for a reverse 31/2 somersault tuck. Then it was Boudia's turn, and he responded with four 10s on the very same dive, known in the manual as 307C.

"I knew David was going to hit that dive," Finchum said. "It's one of his best dives. Once I did my dive, well, he's thinking in his mind, 'I've got to do mine better.'

"And he did."

Boudia's only mistake came on his next dive, when he jumped off the platform a bit too slow, failed to adjust and couldn't rotate his legs around in time to enter the water in a straight line. He earned his lowest marks, mostly 6.5s, but it was still enough to keep him in front.

"All you can do is move on," he said.