During Saturday night’s electrifying Olympic final in men’s 10 meter platform diving, viewers likely caught a glimpse or two of eventual gold medal winner David Boudia with a large pair of headphones latched to his head. According to Boudia, it’s more than likely that’s how he would look if you saw him anywhere else, too. “I have over 2,000 songs on my phone that travel with me everywhere, and my headphones are constantly in my ears,” the Indiana native told EW last month, the day before he was to leave for London, his second Olympics after Beijing. “I listen to music all the time. The genre of music is so sporadic that it’s so hard to apply — I listen to anywhere from rap to hip-hop to country to Michael Bublé, a lot of Christian music — all over the place.”
So what was the 23-year-old Boudia — the first American man to win gold in the event since the legendary Greg Louganis did it at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea — listening to as he prepared for his dives?
“I actually have a playlist just for competition,” he said. “I start out with the Dubstep remix of [AC/DC’s] ‘Thunderstruck,’ and then I build in some Jack Johnson and Michael Bublé to kind of calm me down after the dive. And then I’ll listen to a guy named Tedashii. There’s one song if I listen to it, it just gets my heart rate up. It just gets me really excited. It’s [a ‘N—-s in Paris’ remix] called ‘Ball So Hard’ by T. Powell.”
With Boudia often traveling in the U.S. to train, he explained that he keeps most of his other entertainment choices — movies, TV shows, books, and videogames — on his iPad. Check out the rest of Boudia’s Must List below, as well as his thoughts on the best perks of being an Olympian, and how he deals with all the added pressure.
MOVIES: “I’ve been watching a lot of movies because I just moved into my house and I have no cable yet. The last two I saw was Safe House with Denzel Washington and then Contraband with Mark Wahlberg. I love Miracle, always an inspirational movie to watch. And then Shawshank Redemption.”
TELEVISION: “[The HBO WWII miniseries] Band of Brothers. I love war movies, and I love things about war. I love the action. I love the fighting. I like the background stories on the guys. Just entertaining.” Boudia also cites Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Dexter, and Wipeout.
BOOKS: “The only books I read are spiritual books,” Boudia said. He’s currently reading A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller; he cites Francis Chan’s Crazy Love as his favorite book.
VIDEOGAMES: “I play Call of Duty a lot. And I love the sports games, so Tiger Woods, obviously.” On his iPad, Boudia often plays Bejeweled, Tetris, Need for Speed, and Line Runner.
ON THE BEST PERKS OF BEING AN OLYMPIAN: “People are extremely nice and accommodating. But probably the cool thing is when you go through [athlete] processing [before] the Olympic games, you get to go around with a shopping cart and they just pile all these clothes all this gear for the Olympic games, like Ralph Lauren, Nike, lots of stuff. You have a shopping cart full of just apparel. I’m stoked for that.”
ON HOW PREPARING FOR LONDON HAS BEEN DIFFERENT THAN BEIJING: “I totally know what to expect now. There’s so many highs and so many lows at the Olympic games that a first-time Olympian doesn’t really know how to prepare for, so now going into London, I’ll have to manage those highs and manage those lows and get priorities in line.”
ON HOW HE MANAGES THE SUDDEN MEDIA SCRUTINY: “Diving is definitely not a popular sport. It’s popular during the Olympic games. It’s good I have that experience from 2008. I have a taste of what it’s like. It just goes back to prioritizing. Obviously, the media does good just promoting your story, so they definitely have to be your friend. It can get a little tedious at times, but this is part of the game, part of the profession, so it’s a lot of fun.”