b. January 29, 1960
“When you're a kid growing up, and you think you're gay, you're often teased. But sports can be great for building self-esteem.”
The winner of five Olympic medals, Greg Louganis is the world’s most successful diver and among the most high-profile openly gay athletes.
Raised in San Diego, Louganis scored a perfect 10 in the Junior Olympics in 1971. In 1976, he won an Olympic silver in Montreal.
Louganis graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 1983. At the World Championships the following year, Louganis became the first diver to score a perfect 10 at an international meet.
At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Louganis won two gold medals—one each in the springboard and platform events—and was the first to exceed 700 points in the two competitions. For these achievements he received the Sullivan Award, which honors America’s best amateur athlete.
During the springboard qualifying rounds at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Louganis misjudged a jump and struck his head on the diving board. Despite suffering a concussion, he continued diving and won two gold medals. He became the first male diver to win double golds in consecutive Olympics.
In 1993, Louganis starred as a chorus boy who dies of AIDS in the Off Broadway play “Jeffrey.” He came out and disclosed his HIV-positive status at the 1994 Gay Games in New York.
Louganis’s best-selling autobiography, “Breaking the Surface” (1995), recounts his experiences as an openly gay athlete.