Steele Johnson and David Boudia just won a silver medal for diving at the Olympics. For them, it is a huge accomplishment and the result of some incredibly hard work over the course of years. This is no different from other Olympians and the hard work they put into their respective sports.
However, what makes Johnson and Boudia unique is the understanding they bring to the concept of identity in Christ. Yes, they worked hard, they even overcame very difficult circumstances (more on that below), but more importantly they know whose they are and what that means for their identity.
Moments after their final silver-winning dive, Johnson and Boudia spoke to a news reporter. Johnson commented on how the win made him feel by saying, “Yeah, I’m Steele Johnson the Olympian, but at the same time, I’m here to love and serve Christ. My identity is rooted in Christ, not in the flips we’re doing.”
This is Johnson’s first Olympics, and the fact that he is able to compete is testament to God’s faithfulness and miraculous healing. When Johnson was 12 years old, he split his skull open while practicing a dive. He wasn’t sure if he’d live to tell the tale, let alone compete on the Olympic level. Yet here he is, winning a medal and humbly thanking God for the victory.
Johnson’s diving partner, Boudia, is a veteran Olympian and also a committed Christian. This is his third time at the Olympics and his third medal (Boudia won a gold and bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics).
What is so unique about Boudia and Johnson, though, is their relationship. Boudia is seven years older than Johnson, and according to Team USA’s site, used to drive Johnson to diving practice in their home state of Indiana. Johnson says of Boudia, “Even if David didn’t have an Olympic gold medal, he’d be the best person to take me along this Olympic journey…I’ve learned so much from this guy about diving, about life, about faith, about being a man, that I wouldn’t be where I am today without this guy teaching me along the way.”
It’s apparent the two have a bond that only Christ can bring. Even more than helping him train to dive, Boudia has clearly mentored Johnson and seen him through some difficult times.
Boudia’s commitment to Christ is contagious. He, too, knows where his identity comes from. After the 2012 London Olympics, Boudia spoke at a church saying, “I am not a diving coach who happens to be a Christian. But rather I am a Christian, follower of Christ, who happens to be a diving coach.”
Boudia summed it up well during his post-win interview when he said “We’re just so thankful and there are so many sacrifices that have been made by our coaches…and my wife..and family and my parents…just so many, but nothing compares to the sacrifice that we’ve had in eternity.”
Boudia and Johnson certainly have the right perspective when it comes to sacrifice, mentoring and God’s faithfulness.
Olympic Diving Trials | David Boudia, Steele Johnson Win 10-Me…Emotions were high after USA Diving’s David Boudia and Steele Johnson NAILED their final dive! ???
Posted by Team USA on Friday, June 24, 2016