Olympic Diver Greg Louganis Recalls Scorn of Being Different

John Doyle is a writer for the Globe and Mail who primarily covers television. During the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, he ventured into sport writing with What’s the Right Way to Cover Women’s Sports?, and penned one of my favourite anecdotes of the tournament:

The Women’s World Cup is a peculiar beast of a tournament. I’ve covered many major soccer events featuring the top male players and the tournaments have their own narrative. I was reminded of this after a couple of days in Moncton recently covering the women’s tournament there. The players and their families and friends were everywhere. One evening I saw Louisa Nécib, the great French player, out for a stroll. I must have stared, looked awed, because she gave me an indulgent smile and, I’m pretty sure, winked at me.

AH! To be winked at by Louisa Nécib … heaven on earth. Anywho, back to things … a number of months ago, Doyle interviewed Greg Louganis, one of the best divers of all time. Louganis was promoting the documentary Back on Board: Greg Louganis (produced by HBO Sports), which chronicles his journey from growing up adopted, his ascent in competitive diving to the USA Olympic diving team, coming out as gay and HIV positive in the early 1990s, and life thereafter.

Louganis has had a difficult, vulnerable and resilient life and the documentary chronicles this. It is also an incredible case study of homophobia, fear of HIV-positive people, masculinity and sport. As Doyle states in the article, Olympic Diver Greg Louganis Recalls Scorn of Being Different, those under the age of 30 may not know who Louganis is. And if this is the case, Back on Board is the perfect opportunity to familiarize oneself with him and his tremendous story (trailer).

 

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