|Louganis, Greg (1960- )|
| American diver,
who won gold medals in both springboard and platform diving at the Olympic
Games in 1984 and 1988. Louganis, who desired not only to win but to achieve
artistic perfection, dominated men's diving in the 1980s. Adopted in infancy
by a couple from San Diego, California, Gregory Efthimios Louganis graduated
from the University of California at Irvine in 1983. A reading disability
affected his early schooling and made him painfully shy, but as a child
he excelled in dance classes. He soon began gymnastics to relieve an asthma
condition, then started diving competitively. At the age of 11 he scored
a perfect mark of ten in the Junior Olympics diving competition in Colorado
At the 1976 Olympics in Montréal, Québec, Canada, Louganis won a silver medal in platform diving. In spite of serious injuries and a bout with mononucleosis, he won the 1978 United States indoor national titles in springboard and platform diving. He did not compete at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because the United States boycotted the games in protest over the invasion of Afghanistan by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Four years later, however, he won gold medals in both springboard and platform diving at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. For his accomplishments that year, Louganis won the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award, given annually by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States (AAU) to the outstanding amateur athlete in the country. Louganis was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985. At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, he successfully defended his springboard and platform titles, becoming the first man to win both titles in successive Olympics.
Louganis's many other victories during his career included the springboard and platform titles at the Pan American Games in 1979, 1983, and 1987, the platform title at the world championships in 1978, and the springboard and platform titles at the world championships in 1982 and 1986. After the 1988 Olympics Louganis retired from diving to pursue an acting career. In 1993 he appeared in the Broadway play Jeffrey. Two years later his memoir Breaking the Surface was published, and in it he revealed that he suffered from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).