Identity In Christ Not Olympic Medals

BoudiaJohnson_silverWe are so proud of all of the Team USA Olympians competing in Rio!

It’s even more fun because of the connection David and Steele have with Purdue WDA!

Purdue alum David Boudia: He was a 2012 London 10m Individual Diving Olympic Gold Medalist and 10m Synchro Diving Bronze Medalist. This month in the 2016 Rio Olympics he became the Individual 10m Bronze medalist along with 10m Synchro Diver Silver Medalist with diving partner Steele Johnson! He now has an Olympic medal of every color!

David has been friends with our Parks Wilson for a few years. He was also a special speaker at one of our events a few years ago!

Current Purdue student Steele Johnson: Prior to the Olympics (his freshman year) Steele was the NCAA national champion in 10m and 3m spring board diving. He took off last year to train for the Olympics. As Boudia’s diving partner, Steele became the 2016 Rio Olympics 10m Synchro Diver Silver Medalist! He also placed 13th in the 10m Individual competition.

Parks has also gotten to know Steele somewhat over the past year and a half. Steele spoke at our event last semester for our the Alpha Bible Fellowship Study at Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity! He is a prolific video blogger on his YouTube channel and shared some of his experiences in Rio there. Below is his video just after winning the silver medal and the multiple media appearances.

Needless to say we all were super excited, very nervous, holding our breath with knots in our stomach for each dive!

We are so proud of these men who are world-elite athletes and bold about their faith in Christ on the world stage. It is so encouraging that amidst worldwide acclaim and visibility they are clear they do not find their significance or identity in diving or the acclaim they receive. They find it in Christ alone and tell the world about it. That’s what matters the most.

Steele Dives

johnson_steele_112015_800x375_2We in invited Steele Johnson, a Purdue diver, to speak at Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity on Tuesday evening, March 22. He won the 2015 NCAA national championship in the 1-meter and 10- meter platform diving, was diver of the year and Purdue male athlete of the year. He is currently training to go to the 2016 Olympics with Team USA.

Steele shared how he got involved with diving at the age of 7. At age 12, during one of his dives, he hit his head on the 10-meter platform and torn his scalp open. He could have easily died as result and was told he might never dive again. But true to his name, Steele is a pretty tough guy! After his recovery he continued to dive and was a 15-time junior national champion. Please watch this video on YouTube where he tells the story:

Steele is currently on Olympic practice waiver at Purdue. He and Olympic gold medalist David Boudia (who also was a Purdue diver) have been training together as synchronized 10-meter diving partners. They just returned from China and Dubai were the pair won a bronze medal in their synchronized diving event.

Steele also shared with us how his faith has become a very important part of his life. He said that he had traveled all over the world and won many tumblr_o2kcymSyWV1s76cado1_1280accolades in diving, but that this left his empty and unsatisfied. In his testimony, he told us that he had rededicated his life to Christ in January of 2015. He now has his focus on Christ. If he wins that’s great, but he wants to glorify God in all that he does.

We were thankful Steele was able to fit us in the middle of his current busy competition schedule from Rio to China to Dubai, back to Purdue and now on his way to Canada and Russia!

Look for Steele Johnson and David Boudia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio!

Steele is a prolific video blogger and posts videos to his YouTube Channel on a regular basis. He can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.