Greg Louganis

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Gregory "Greg" Efthimios Louganis (born January 29, 1960) is an American Olympic diver and author.

He received the James E. Sullivan Award from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in 1984 as the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.


Early life

Louganis is of Samoan/Swedish descent. He was raised in California by his adoptive parents, a Greek-American couple. He attended Valhalla High School in El Cajon, California.

Diving career

At sixteen Louganis took part in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, where he placed second in the tower event, behind Italian sport legend Klaus Dibiasi. Two years later, with Dibiasi retired, Louganis won his first world title in the same event. In 1978, he accepted a diving scholarship to the University of Miami where he studied theater, but in 1981 transferred to the University of California, Irvine, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

Louganis was a favorite for two golds in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but an American boycott of the games prevented him from participating. Louganis won two world diving titles in 1982. In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, with record scores and leads over his opponents, Louganis won gold medals in both the springboard and tower diving events.

After winning two more world championship titles in 1986, he repeated his 1984 feat in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, although not without difficulties: he suffered a concussion after hitting his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds while performing a reverse 2½ pike. He completed the preliminaries despite his injury, and went on to repeat a similar dive during the finals, earning the gold medal. In the 10m finals he won the gold medal performing a 3.4 difficulty dive in his last attempt, earning in total 638.61 points, surpassing silver medalist Xiong Ni by only 1.14 points. His comeback earned him the title of ABC's Wide World of Sports "Athlete of the Year" for 1988.

Personal life

Greg Louganis is openly gay and tested positive for HIV in 1988.[1] He recounted his story in a best-selling book Breaking the Surface co-written with Eric Marcus. The book spent five weeks at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. His story was also documented in the 1996 Showtime movie Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story with Mario Lopez playing the lead and Louganis narrating.

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