Greg Louganis got booed by some in the crowd at Rose Bowl: ‘I am who I am and will not back down’
Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis heard some scattered boos before the Rose Bowl game coin toss on Monday. That is now way to treat a great American hero.
He was being introduced before the game along with fellow Olympians Janet Evans and Allyson Felix with whom he had shared the grand marshall title at that morning’s Tournament of Roses Parade.
Louganis noticed the difference in reception down there on the field.
‘When we were introduced at the game for the coin toss, when Janet and Allyson were introduced the cheers were united. When I was introduced… well there were some boos,’ he writes in a Facebook post.
‘It actually made me feel proud, as I am who I am and will not back down from that, or apologize for that.’
Louganis made history as the first openly gay grand marshall of the Rose Parade.
He is a five-time Olympic medalist (four gold) who was also honored with a Wheaties box last year.
Now 56, Louganis is looking at the positives.
‘The cheers were louder than the boos and I must say, “Thank you!” If anything I hope LGBTQ youth can see something like that and stand proud. I am proud to stand with them.
‘From the voice of a gay man who has been living with HIV/Aids for nearly 30 years. My message to those LGBTQ youth: ‘Don’t give up and you are worth more than you know! Also life does get better, and we have challenges ahead!”‘