1988 was not only the year Louganis made Olympic history, but also the year he tested positive for HIV. After coming to terms with his diagnosis, Louganis collaborated with Eric Marcus to write his autobiography Breaking the Surface, which spent five weeks at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Audiences learn of a man breaking free of a lifetime of silence and isolation. Louganis reveals the strenuous work he put in to reach ultimate athletic success, but his mental health issues, lack of confidence and self-worth kept him from true happiness. It was only after coming out as an HIV-positive gay man that he was able to find peace and start to help others fighting personal battles.
The success of the book landed him interviews with Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey, was made into the popular Showtime movie Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story starring Mario Lopez and lead to his second book, For the Life of Your Dog. With Co-Author Betsy Siino, he wrote a canine care book from birth to death and everything in between for the conscientious owner.
Louganis has set up a scholarship fund with GLBTQ Online High School to help Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth to get an education in a safe environment. He also co-owns a non-profit organization, Greg Louganis; Positively Pet Fund, which help patients living with HIV/AIDS with their pet care needs. Louganis continues to speak nationally and was part of the MEDCO Tour of Champions, a very select group of standout Olympians (2007/2008).
Today, Greg Louganis speaks out on the obstacles he has overcome with a warmth and grace that embody the Olympic spirit. A popular speaker for universities, community associations, healthcare organizations, and corporate groups, his honest message of acceptance and understanding has inspired millions around the world.
Louganis is never one to give up, even in the face of adversity. This was clear when he pulled off one of the most-publicized moments in sports history; after hitting his head on the board in the prelims, he came back to win the three-meter finals as if the accident never happened. His passion to overcome the odds and to fight for equality is what makes him a unique keynoter and powerful story teller.
- Climate Change
- Environmental Issues
- Mental Health/Addiction
- Adoption/Foster Care
- HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+