Wednesday Morning Man: Greg Louganis!
Wishing a very happy 60th birthday to the great Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis!
Greg was featured in a recent issue of People Magazine wearing the same speedo he wore in the 80s and as you can see, he has remained in great shape!
One of America’s finest-ever athletes, Greg won two gold medals in 1988, two in 1984 and a silver medal in 1976 while still in high school. He overcame great obstacles in his life to reach the top of his sport and remains an inspirational figure for so many.
Greg’s story means so much to me because I was coming out in a big way in the mid-90s and it was then that he also came out and wrote a deeply-felt memoir called Breaking the Surface in which he revealed that he had just found out that he was HIV positive when he won his third and fourth gold medals at the 1988 Olympics. He assumed he would not live much longer after that triumph.
Thankfully there were breakthrough medications introduced in the mid-90s and Greg has survived and thrived.
Although he did not come out publicly as a gay man until 1994, Greg was rumored to be gay and that hurt his commercial endorsement opportunities. But in recent years he seems to be getting more his due – especially since the airing of the Emmy-nominated documentary Greg Louganis: Back On Board.
In 2016, Louganis along with fellow Olympic legends Edwin Moses and Janet Evans received the long overdue honor of being placed on boxes of Wheaties breakfast cereal. The next year, he became the first openly gay man to ride as grand marshal of the Rose Parade in Pasadena riding in a car with husband Johnny Chaillot-Louganis.
I just got an email last night sharing the news that Greg has been chosen as Grand Marshal of the 62nd Annual Garden Grove Strawberry’s Festival’s Parade to be held in Garden Grove, CA on May 23. This is a big deal to me because I went to elementary, junior high and high school in Garden Grove and attended the Strawberry Festival every year through my early 20s. The first parade I ever watched was the Strawberry Festival Parade.
Congratulations to Greg and wishing him all the best moving forward!