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Profiles - Divers and Coaches

Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis


Greg Louganis

Greg Louganis

Photo: Mike Powell / Allsport

Considered the greatest diver of all time, Greg Louganis won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform. He is the only male and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic Games. Pat McCormick of the United States won both Olympic diving events in 1952 and 1956. This feat is even more impressive when considering the fact that he was the favorite to win both events in 1980, but due to the United States boycott of the Olympics, he was unable to compete.

Louganis won an unprecedented 47 national tiles during his career, in addition to three NCAA titles, five world championships and, six Pan American Games gold medals. During a period spanning from 1982 to 1988, he won four world championships, four Pan American gold medals, and four Olympic gold medals. He was the first diver to receive perfect 10’s on a dive in international competition when he did so at the 1982 World Championships.

Louganis’ NCAA diving championships came while he was a student at The University of Miami. He later completed his education at the University of California, Irvine, earning a degree in theatre while he continued to train for the Olympics with coach Ron O’Brien.

In one of the most impressive athletic feats in history, Louganis hit his head on the board in the preliminaries of the springboard event at the 1988 Olympic Games. He recovered sufficiently to qualify for the finals and after receiving several stitches following the preliminary round, won his second Olympic springboard gold medal.

In 1994, Louganis acknowledged his homosexuality and in his 1995 autobiography “Breaking The Surface,” he publicly revealed that he is HIV positive and was so at the 1998 Olympic Games.

In 1984 Louganis received the prestigious James L. Sullivan Award, given to the top amateur athlete in the United States, and in 1987 he received the Jesse Owens International Trophy. The Jesse Owens International Trophy is awarded to the outstanding international amateur athlete of the year. It was renamed the American-International Athlete Trophy in 2002. He is a member of both the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

After retiring from active competition, Louganis has appeared in numerous television and stage productions, and has authored two books – “For The Life Of Your Dog,” in addition to his autobiography.

Athletic Highlights

  • United States Olympic Team Member (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988)
  • Olympic Springboard Gold Medalist (1984, 1988)
  • Olympic Platform Gold Medalist (1984, 1988)
  • Olympic Platform Silver Medalist (1976)
  • Pan American Games Springboard Gold Medalist (1979, 1983, 1987)
  • Pam American Games Platform Gold Medalist (1979, 1983, 1987)
  • World Three-Meter Gold Medalist (1982, 1986)
  • World Platform Gold Medalist (1978, 1982, 1986)
  • FINA Cup Springboard Gold Medalist (1983, 1987)
  • FINA Cup Springboard Silver Medalist (1981)
  • FINA Cup Platform Gold Medalist (1979, 1983)
  • NCAA One-Meter Champion (1979, 1980)
  • NCAA Three-Meter Champion (1980)
  • 47 National Championship Titles

Athletic Awards

  • James L. Sullivan Award (1984)
  • Jesse Owens International Trophy (1987)
  • United States Olympic Hall of Fame (1985)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame (1993)
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