Greg Louganis was born in 1960 and adopted by a Californian couple at the age of 9 months. He was introduced to the sport of diving at the age of 10, when he first began competing. By age 16 he had won his first Olympic medal, a silver on the platform in the 1976 Olympics. At age 24, he became the first man in 56 years to win two Olympic gold medals in diving by winning both the platform and springboard events. In 1986, Louganis repeated his performance with both the platform and springboard events at the World Championship. Two years later at the 1988 Olympics, competing against divers half his age and despite a near-disastrous head injury during a dive, Louganis became the first man to win double gold medals for diving in two consecutive Olympics.
Louganis says he realised he was gay at the age of 16 when he had his first sexual experience. Although there had been speculation about his sexuality in the sporting world and the media for many years, he did not openly come out until 1994 when he competed in, and acted as the official host of, the Gay Games in New York.
Louganis discovered that he was HIV positive in 1988 after his boyfriend tested positive. His diagnosis led to his becoming active in HIV support work.
Since finishing his diving career, Louganis has been involved in stage and film acting, and published his autobiography, Breaking the Surface, in 1996. The book chronicles Louganis’ tumultuous life: a difficult childhood as an adopted child, coming to accept his homosexuality, his achievements in diving, and living with HIV.
Brought to you by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives