At 27 years old, three-time Olympian David Boudia has faced immense difficulty. Diving off a 10-meter platform, his performance is judged on the composure and agility demonstrated in mid-air acrobatics, and the neatness of his entry into the water. Not only is a clean entry crucial for a satisfactory score, but a sloppy entry could entail horrific pain. It has been said that hitting the water at that speed is akin to hitting a ton of bricks.
But of all the challenges Boudia has faced, the most deadly, the most vicious, the most certain to destroy him, is his love of self.
It is hard, after all, to hold a gold medal in your hand and not think that you are something special. Whole nations seem to worship the very ground you walk on. You will be interviewed hundreds of times and featured on high-profile news stations. You might even receive a book contract!
After his participation in the 2008 Olympic Games, however, David Boudia became enraptured with something besides himself. He came face to face with Jesus, and that meeting has transformed his entire approach to the Olympic Games.
In his account, Boudia shares his story with simple honesty, in hope that his story will impact and inspire young men and women who desire a relationship with God. He is open about his struggle to glorify God instead of seeking attention and admiration. Greater Than Gold is easily read in one sitting, as he writes earnestly, but very simply. While this might not be the most artistically stunning memoir I have read this year (far from it, in fact), it is easy to tell that every word comes from deep within. In his story, I see unrelenting determination: first in his approach to competitive diving, but finally in his resolve to not let the gods of Self-Worth and Pride overpower his faith.
From Rio de Janeiro last month, I watched as David Boudia, with his synchro partner Steele Johnson, climbed dripping wet from the diving pool and stood before newscasters after winning the silver medal for Team USA. Boudia, barely able to contain the grin that spread from ear to ear, let the words from his heart burst out, “To God be the glory.”
Praise the Lord for people of faith like David Boudia, to whom God has given the privilege of representing Him on the world stage. Greater Than Gold will enable this man’s story to touch the hearts of many. The hearts of the world will be stirred as they watch an incredible athlete fall on his knees before a truly incredible God. The hearts of believers will soar as they connect to the message that the richness of knowing Christ is far, far greater than gold.