The United States’ Greg Louganis is widely considered the best male diver in Olympic history. Louganis competed in three Olympiads – Montreal ’76, Los Angeles ’84 and Seoul ’88 – and bagged a total of four gold medals and one silver medal. His debut in Montreal as a 16-year-old produced that lone silver in the 10m platform, but he had to wait eight years before getting a crack at a gold medal following the USA’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. He swept the golds in the 3m springboard and the 10m platform in Los Angeles, becoming the first man to do so in 56 years. Four years later in Seoul, at the advanced diving age of 28 and competing against opponents half his age, he repeated this two-gold feat, but not before surviving a scary moment when he hit his head on the diving board, opening a wound that required stitches.
This incident would be recalled in great detail later on after Louganis revealed in 1995 that he was HIV-positive and had been diagnosed as such a few months before the Seoul Olympics. Since his injury spilled blood, there were those who openly wondered whether Louganis put the other diving competitors at risk. Others questioned his decision to hide his condition, especially since the doctor who treated his wound did so without gloves.
Today Louganis is involved in numerous endeavors, among them a training camp for aspiring divers and a role as an athlete mentor for USA Diving aimed at helping the United States win another Olympic medal in diving. (Sources: Olympic.org and greglouganis.com)
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