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"Greater Than Gold" by David Boudia

As a huge fan of the Olympic Games, I've watched David Boudia dive for Team USA since 2008 and was so excited for him when he won gold in 2012. At that time I didn't know about his faith in Jesus Christ, and now I'm even more of a fan after getting a glimpse into his heart these past couple weeks, both with things he has said at the ongoing Rio Olympics and from the pages of this book.

In this easy-to-read memoir, Boudia tells about his active childhood, his natural competitiveness with his older sisters, and how his parents decided to get him into athletics to find a good use for his abundant energy. At first they put him in gymnastics, and it was through that training that David first began dreaming of being an Olympian. Then it was diving that captured his heart, and his goals changed. He still wanted to reach the Olympics, but this time as a diver.

David gives us insight into the technical side of diving as he tells his story. He breaks down dives and talks about training methods. When discussing his appearances at both the Beijing and London Olympics, he shares what it is like to march in the Opening Ceremony, to stay in the Olympic village, and the training you go through at off-site facilities while waiting for your event to arrive. He tells about personal decisions he made, such as where he attended college and when he eventually turned professional in his sport.

With tasteful honesty, David shares about how his passion and drive did not always lead him to positive things. He sought after fame and fortune, thinking they would bring him happiness. He had some substance abuse issues with marijuana and alcohol, and confesses that he struggled with smoking cigarettes for a long time. As he became a world class athlete he thought he would begin to feel fulfilled, but instead after achieving his goal to become an Olympian and then having a disappointing competition in Beijing, David actually began contemplating suicide because of the extreme emptiness inside of him.

It was after opening up about his struggles to his coach Adam Soldati that David was introduced to Jesus Christ, and from that day forward his life was changed. As he immersed himself into God's Word and found answers to his questions, his focus and drive shifted from how he could gain fame and love for himself to how he could love others and bring glory to God. He now sees diving as an outlet to proclaim Christ and exalt Him through the abilities and talents which were given to him.

David Boudia is not a mainstream Christian. He's someone totally sold out for the Lord who is willing to use his life, the lows as well as the highs, to point others to Jesus. He is the first to admit that he still has struggles in various ways, and the fame he achieved by winning a gold medal was not the wonderful thing he dreamed it would be. By far the most fulfilling thing is living for God and trusting that He is using every circumstance to make His children more like Jesus. Filled with Scripture and written with grace and tact that makes this a great read for teenagers and adults, I would recommend this book for all believers and Olympic fans. Watch David Boudia speak himself about why he wrote this book in the video below.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

I received my copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.

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