Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: Greater than Gold

I love the Olympics.  Every four (well two I guess) years the best athletes around the world participate in high level competition.  The human interest stories behind the scenes and away from the medal stand can be equally as captivating.  I remember vividly David Boudia winning the historic gold medal in platform diving in London, but knew little of his story.  After seeing his testimony alongside his synchro partner, Steele Johnson, and their proclamation that their identity is in Christ I became intrigued.  Therefore, when given the opportunity to read his autobiography shortly after the Rio Olympics (where he won bronze individually and silver in synchro) I was thrilled.
Greater Than Gold is a story of a young man searching for greatness.  He seeks it in all the right places- athletics, fame, notoriety, success, gold medals, endorsements.  Blessed with physical talent and mental toughness, Boudia ends up near the top of his sport yet feels completely empty and broken.  In his youth, immediate gratification brought addictions and pleasures in drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and parties.    Despite a religious upbringing with a family of high expectations, Boudia had mastered looking good when it counted.  But despite all the fame he accomplished, Boudia reached a physical, emotional, and spiritual breaking point in September 2009 when he was shepherded by his coach and coach's wife at Purdue.  Accepting Christ transformed Boudia's heart, mind, body, and approach to success.  He truly was a new creation.  Life began to have purpose and meaning beyond medals and accolades.  It also allowed him a fresh approach to his sport perhaps allowing him to finally break free of his own enemy (himself) and win Gold in the London Olympics.  What perhaps is even more impressive is his eagerness to continue to honor Christ after things went well and seek help before it was even needed.

This book is an easy read but fantastic in content.  Scripture runs abound as Boudia shares his heart with the world.  He is honest, genuine, and a gentle storyteller. I found myself wishing to have coffee with him and his wife and share life together.  His story is one of finding purpose, getting rid of sin and idols created in life, and finding ways to shine God's light wherever you are placed.  

I highly recommend this book to anyone.  I could even see teens enjoying this story immensely.

*I received this book for free as part of booklook blogger program in exchange for my unbiased review.