Team USA sent 10 competitors to the 2016 Rio Games and the first representatives will hit the water on Monday afternoon when veteran David Boudia and youngster Steele Johnson take on the field in the men’s synchronized 10m platform at 3pm.
Johnson posted a photo of the pair to Instagram on Sunday night, saying: “It has been a long journey to get to this moment, but the work is not done yet. Tomorrow, it’s go time!”
Johnson, 20, is preparing for his Olympic debut, but he feels that partnering with a gold medalist will significantly ease the transition.
“Not many people get to train with the Olympic gold medalist, but even fewer people get to compete synchro with them,” Johnson said. “He has taught me so much and I wouldn’t trade diving with him or being friends with him for anything.”
Expectations will be high for Boudia, who is seven years older and six inches shorter than his partner, after he took bronze in the men’s synchronized 10m platform event in 2012.
Boudia, also the reigning gold medalist in the men’s individual 10m platform, has the chance to become the first man to repeat as Olympic platform champion since Greg Louganis in 1984 and 1988.
The men’s synchronized 10m platform is expected to be one of the most competitive diving events with seven of the eight countries showing the potential to reach the podium.
The United States duo has the fifth best odds at 18/1, according to betting website Bovada.lv.
Johnson and Boudia will also compete in the men’s individual 10m platform event beginning on Friday, Aug. 19.