The on-going debate in the Boudia-Finchum bromance is who gets to be top. The on-going debate in the rest of the world is when will these two Olympic hotties say I am. And I do.
Matthew Mitcham is getting all of the pre-Olympics gay diver hype; he’s the best known gay athlete scheduled to compete at the London Games as well as being the defending gold medal champion on the 10m board. Meanwhile Britain’s entry in the gay diver sweepstakes, Tom Daley, is no slouch in the hype department himself thanks to his boyish good looks, his diving skills, and his boyish good looks. And with a dearth of gay Olympic divers already on the scoreboards making the Pink Team the overall winner, every Olympian who walks out on the diving board and strikes a pose causes eye brows to raise and his sexuality to be questioned.
At this summer’s Olympics you can expect history to repeat itself, and those eyebrows to change to a knowing waggle when Thomas Finchum and David Boudia appear on the world’s stage. It happened at the Beijing Games, it will happen at the London Games too. Because the world wants to know: What in the hell is happening between those two boys? And how does Nick McCrory fit into that relationship?
U.S. Olympic divers David Boudia and Thomas Finchum were partners in the synchronized 10m platform event at the Beijing Games and seemed inseparable both on and off the diving board. The pair’s beautifully choreographed aerial ballet, two powerful near-naked bodies exemplifying masculine strength in perfect precision twisting and turning in a versatile coupling, the muscular powerhouse Boudia and Finchum’s graceful long limbed artistry excited viewers but failed to earn them a medal. Their coupling did, however, earn them a place in the hearts and minds of gay men all over the world who were willing to claim the duo as their own. Gaydar across the planet started pinging and even straight viewers wondered aloud if either or both were gay. For most, an interview Finchum gave on NBC settled the matter. Even those not willing to attach the gay label, begrudgingly admitted the boy is a bit effeminate. But then Boudia has plenty of gay backers himself.
Boudia has gone on to become the 2011 Worlds silver medalist in the 10m platform and is the best U.S. hope for an individual Olympic diving medal – male or female, straight or gay. He and Finchum were the silver medalists at the 2009 Worlds, but soon thereafter Boudia teamed with Nick McCrory in the 10m synchronized event finishing fourth at the Test Event held in January in London, which earned the duo a berth at the XXX Games, a follow up to their just out of medal contention fifth place finish at the 2011 Worlds in Shanghai. The pair have become America’s best 10m synchro team and are expected to easily garner spots on the U.S. Diving Team whose trials are currently being held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center near Seattle and will conclude this Sunday.
All three divers are battling for a berth on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Only two will make it. Boudia is the favorite; it seems both on and off the board McCrory and Finchum are vying for the #2 spot. The spot by Boudia’s side. And like three-ways often are, it’s been a messy few years as Boudia has teamed with Finchum, then with McCrory, while McCrory and Finchum tried each other on for fit along the way. All three haven taken turns being the top. Now Finchum wants to wear that title and win the opportunity to be off to London to visit the queens.
And he’s planning on doing so by going it alone. Currently teamed with Drew Livingston in a bit of ‘I can do it too’ payback, Finchum and his pseudo partner did not enter the Trials. Instead, Finchum decided to add the 3m individual event to his repetoir. Anything to cut McCrory out of the picture, cuz’ when Boudia and Finchum get to London together . . . well, they’ll always have Beijing.
Finchum, who first made a splash as a tiny 15-year-old at the 2005 world championships, is trying to make his second Olympic team after going through what he calls four “very difficult” years. “It would mean a lot more to me because of what I’ve had to persevere through,” he says.
For six or seven years until 2009, Finchum competed exclusively with Boudia, they even shared a home pool. When McCrory emerged on the scene, the three rotated partners for about a year – Boudia/Finchum, then Boudia/McCrory, then McCrory/Finchum – until the Boudia/McCrory pairing prevailed. “We were kind of trying out all the possibilities,” says McCrory.
The transition was a potentially uncomfortable situation, but everyone handled it as well as could be expected. “There was no emotion,” Boudia says ignoring what a drama queen Finchum can be.
While McCrory assumed Finchum’s synchronized spot with his longtime teammate, the Olympian was rehabbing from shoulder surgery and had time for song writing while out of the pool. Thomas now has a four-man country cross-over band, Northern Nights, and a popular video on YouTube of him singing John Mayer’s blues ballad, Gravity. “Oh, twice as much ain’t twice as good, And can’t sustain like one half could, Its wanting more that’s gonna set me to my knees,” he fittingly wails in a slight falsetto.
Now healed, at least physically, Finchum is back at the pool. “It hasn’t been as easy. I’ve had to fight my way back up to the top,” he says. He shared his tale of overcoming adversity with journalists at the U.S. Olympic Summit in Dallas last month. “I left Beijing empty-handed and that’s not what I want to do this time. I have big dreams, but I think they’re possible,” Finchum said.
Finchum was first, or second to Boudia, at every national meet from the 2004 trials to 2009. In 2010 surgery set Finchum back, but recent results reflect a new and improved version of the former wunderkind. He was narrowly second to Boudia at December’s winter national championships, and in their last meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Finchum placed second to China’s Zhou Luxin, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, beating his former partner. Finchum “just dominated, right to the last dive,” said his coach, John Wingfield.
The Beijing Olympian is now 22 years old and stands 6’1″, which is tall for a diver. Finchum said he concentrates on making dives technically perfect because any flaw is magnified more than it would be for a shorter athlete. Off the platform, Finchum says he is peaking at the right time for the trials and Olympics. Yet he acknowledged that it is hard to envision another four years like the past four. “But I finally feel I’m at a point that I’m stronger than I ever have been in my diving, physically and mentally,” he says.
For the first time since 2000, the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials feature no Olympic medalists. That’s a startling statistic for a country with more than twice as many Olympic diving medals than any other nation, despite China’s recent dominance. All three boys have plans to see that doesn’t happen again. Which two, whether diving together or not, is still up for grabs. Finchum, who regularly logs on to the gay entertainment site After Elton, hopes it will be himself and his longtime, if not current companion. “I don’t want it to be anyone else on that team with me but David,” he said. “I want to beat him, but I want to support him, too.”
The U.S. Olympic Trials represent a milestone for the Indianapolis diver, who has been competing at a national level for decade. He, Boudia, and McCrory are all considered to be genuine medal contenders at the London Olympics. By Sunday the trio will know which two of them will be competing at the Games and who will win a romantic holiday getaway to London.
As of the semi-finals on the 10m board Tuesday night, Boudia is in the lead, followed closely by McCrory with Finchum bringing up a disappointing third. Unlike in the Olympics, their previous points carry over to the finals, which will be held on Saturday. Watching the trio battle it out with all three performing the same dive for their final effort of the night, I was struck by four things.
First, and of the utmost importance, McCrory has the best bulge. By far. Canadian Despartie’s title of best Olympic bulge will be in jeopardy in London. Second, Boudia walks a bit gay, but spits like a breeder. Third, McCrory, with a light dusting of chest hair, has the hairiest arm pits I’ve ever seen. I’m generally not in favor of manscaping under arm hair, but the boy might consider a little trimming. Fourth, Finchum really needs to open his closet door, everything about the boy screams gay.
But in that he’s not alone. Last night Finchum competed in the 3m semi-finals, an event he normally passes on. His dives were beautifully performed but as they were of a less degree of difficulty than the other top divers he finished the night in fourth place. Kristian Ipsen, a tall 19-year-old blonde, started and finished the night off in first place. He too has a nice bulge, a great ass, and is U.S. Diving’s fastest rising gay, but still not out diver.
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Finchum dove his little heart out at the Olympic trials this week but was unable to pull off high enough scores to secure his spot on the 2012 Olympic team. The 22-year-old has said that he will retire from diving now that his Olympic dream has been broken. Not sure what he plans on doing about that tat.
Boudia & McCrory’s hairy armpits, however will be off to London together.
Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen also made the team, with Kristian picking up Finchum’s rainbow tiara from the closet floor. Ipsen lists Finchum’s band as one of his favorites under the music category on his Facebook page, a nice tip of the hat to his fellow closeted diver I thought.
So no wedding bells in London, and no coupled gay divers to add to the media frenzy. But then there have always been rumors about Dumais, and Ipsen is so obvious . . . stay tuned.
[‘The XXX Games’ are a series of posts about hot Olympians, gay competitors - both present and past - and general articles about the 2012 London Olympics of interest to gay men. So, yeah, lots of hot male eye candy. Click the XXX Games graphic above for additional news, stories, and pictures.]