Greg Louganis Profile

Widely regarded as the best diver in the history of the sport, Greg Louganis is a four-time Olympic champion, a relentless voice for LGBT rights, and a powerful advocate for HIV awareness. In 1994, he took a brave and historic step for the LGBT community by becoming one of the first openly gay athletes, publicly coming out about both his sexuality and HIV infection.

Famous for striking his head on a diving board during preliminary rounds in the 1988 Olympics, Greg went on to win two gold medal in the following days despite having suffered a concussion. With 47 national championships under his belt, he is one of the most decorated athletes in U.S. history.

In the early 1990s, Greg announced that he was gay and HIV-positive, even though he knew that it meant losing perhaps all his corporate sponsors. Fully committed to breaking down the stigmas surrounding sexual orientation and AIDS, he has worked frequently with the Human Rights Campaign to defend the civil liberties of the LGBT community and people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In 2015, he was presented the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for his contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.

Greg was the subject of the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Back on the Board. The film sparked a movement among fans to get him on the cover of the Wheatie’s box. Despite being deemed by Swimming World as “The Greatest Diver Ever,” Greg had been passed up for the iconic Wheaties cereal box in the early 1990s because General Mills claimed he did not meet their ‘wholesome demographics.’ In 2016, the company changed its stance and issued a box featuring the world-class athlete in a midair dive.

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    Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion Swimmer

    Four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis is widely considered the greatest diver in history. The only male to sweep both the 3m and 10m diving events in consecutive Olympic Games (’84 and ’88), Greg earned a total of 5 Olympic medals, 5 World Championship titles and 47 national titles (more than anyone in U.S. history).

    Often remembered for the shocking moment in 1988 when he struck his head on the springboard, Greg revealed his remarkable courage and tenacity when he returned to the board shortly after and performed the best dive of the competition. The next day, he won the gold and secured his legacy.

    In 1984, Greg received the AAU’s James E. Sullivan Award for outstanding achievements. The following year, he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1987, he won the Jesse Owens Award. In 1993, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. And in 1994, he was presented with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Robert J. Kane Award. His 1995 autobiography, Breaking the Surface spent five weeks as the New York Times #1 best seller.

    Currently, Greg is a mentor for the US Olympic diving team, a judge for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Tour, a dog agility expert, and a motivational speaker. He is the subject of a the feature-length documentary film, Back on Board (2014), and recently starred in both ABC’s prime-time competition show, Splash and Channel 7’s Celebrity Splash. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

    Diving Career Highlights

      • 1984 and 1988 Olympic double gold medalist for 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform
      • 1976 Olympic silver medalist on 10 m platform
      • Five-time world champion
      • Four-time FINA World Cup gold medalist
      • 47 U.S. national titles, more than anyone in U.S. history
      • Swept Pan American Games gold medals three times and U.S. Olympic Festival titles five times
      • Three-time NCAA champion
      • Winner of the AAU’s James E. Sullivan Award for outstanding achievements in 1984
      • Winner of the 1987 Jesse Owens Award
      • Inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1993
      • Winner of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Robert J. Kane Award in 1999

Greg Louganis Speaking Videos

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Greg Louganis's Speech Descriptions

A skilled inspirational and motivational speaker, Greg Louganis shares
the wisdom he’s gained from successfully facing and conquering dramatic challenges while under the glare of the public eye. One of the most accomplished yet approachable Olympians in history, his keynote addresses have inspired at professional, educational and athletic events the world over. A popular speaker for universities, community associations, health care organizations and corporate groups, Greg offers an honest message of acceptance and understanding amplified by his own example of overcoming obstacles with grace and humility.

    Since the age of 12 Greg has been in front of the media and has crafted the skill of being a seasoned speaker. Like all things in life this thing they call “speaking” is an art form. So when looking to hire Greg as a SPEAKER, all we really need to know is the message you want convey. Give us the talking points, your company / organization background, the amount of time and Greg will personally craft a MOMENT for your event. Some of the topics are listed below, but if you do not see YOUR topic, drop us an inquiry anyways and we will run by Greg to see if we can craft something inspirational for your event.

    Most Requested Topics:

    • Peak Performance
    • HIV
    • Diversity
    • Motivation
    • Depression
    • Dyslexia

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Books by Greg Louganis:

    Breaking the Surface

    This is a new edition of Greg Louganis′s 1995 #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography and Literary Guild Selection. It is the unflinchingly honest first-person account of a man breaking free of a lifetime of silence and isolation.

    Born to a young Samoan father and Northern European mother, and adopted at nine months, Greg began diving at age nine, and at sixteen won a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. But despite his astonishing athletic skill, Greg struggled with late-detected dyslexia, prejudice toward his dark skin coloring and anguish over his homosexuality, which he felt compelled to hide. Being in the spotlight intensified his difficulties with relationships and substance abuse.

    However, Louganis went on to win double gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. His triumph at the 1988 Olympics came several months after he tested positive for HIV. This is the haunting, searingly candid story of the world′s greatest diver. This new edition includes a new foreword.

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