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Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis talks to GLAAD about documentary “Back on Board” and about HIV

It’s so nice to see Greg Louganis getting all kinds of attention in advance of the premiere of the documentary Back on Board: Greg Louganis which debuts tonight on HBO.

Maybe the folks at ABC’s Dancing With the Stars will finally see that he would be a wonderful contestant on the show – much more worthy than say, two-time participant Bristol Palin.

Greg never got a Wheaties box after winning four gold medals and a silver medal over three Olympics and he certainly did not get a reality show after coming out as gay and publicly acknowledging that he is HIV-positive. But I do hope he realizes how much his telling his story for the first time in the mid-1990s meant to so many of us who were struggling with coming out of the closet and trying to begin to live authentic lives.

I watched his interviews with Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey so many times the VHS tape just gave out. And I read his autobiography cover to cover – at times through tears.

And what a beautiful thing that Greg has survived and thrived and his story can continue to inspire.

In this interview for GLAAD’s video series, GLAAD: All Access, he talks with host Claire Pires about the homophobia he experienced, living with HIV, and how he has found a new passion working with Olympic hopefuls.

Greg says in the GLAAD interview: “I was diagnosed HIV positive in 1988, six months prior to the Olympic games. And, had anybody known my HIV status in 1988, I wouldn’t have been allowed into the country to compete in that Olympic games.” “I never dreamed that I would live this long period, but a cure. That’s the true goal. You know? To find a cure. And the good news is, there’s medications out there, but the bad news is, a lot of young people think that, ‘Oh, it’s a manageable disease ’ Yeah, there’s treatment options and the treatment options are much more palatable than they used to be, but I wouldn’t wish my drug regimen on anyone.”

Read more about his documentary here: http://http://louganisdoc.com

FILE UNDER: GLAAD

Comments

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2 Remarks

  1. Thanks, Greg, for keeping Greg Louganis in the spotlight. If you’ve watched Louganis’s documentary, you know how rampant homophobia was back in Louganis’s day. He had to deal with total disrespect and homophobia from his own Olympic teammates. How shameful for the US Olympic team! The only reason he didn’t get endorsements is because of homophobia. Greg Louganis is the most accomplished American athlete to win Olympic gold. The stats speak for themselves: perfect scores for technically and aesthetically perfect dives. Never before and never again. Hopefully, this documentary will show the world.

  2. @Joan-totally agree with your comment. Greg’s lack of endorsements due to his sexual orientation reminds me of how badly another gay athlete, Martina Navratilova, was treated by Madison Avenue. Even at the peak of her career all she had were racket and clothing endorsements and nothing else.

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