Olympic gold-medal winning diver and gay rights activist GREG LOUGANIS was born in El Cajon, California on this date. Of Samoan/Swedish descent, Louganis first won a silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. He was considered a favorite for two gold medals in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow but was denied the chance with the American boycott of the games that year. Louganis won gold medals in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, two gold medals in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He is widely regarded as the greatest Olympic diver of all time.
In 1994, after much speculation, Louganis announced he was gay and went on to perform in the Gay Games. In 1995, Louganis’s autobiography co-written with Eric Marcus, entitled Breaking the Surface, was published. A 1997 made-for-television movie, Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story, was aired on national television in the United States.
Since retiring from competitive diving, Louganis has done some acting, most notably appearing in an off-Broadway production of the Paul Rudnick play “Jeffrey.”
As a hobby, Louganis competes in dog agility competitions with his Jack Russell Terriers Dr. Schivago, Captain Woof Blitzer, Nipper, Gryffindor (Gryff), Dobby and Hedwig (named for characters in the Harry Potter series). He published his book For the Life of Your Dog co-written with Betty Sicora Siino