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2007 Keynote Speaker
Greg Louganis is more than just an Olympic Champion - he stands out as an exceptional human being who has led an extraordinary life. He exhibited sheer grace and a winning style as the world's greatest diver, but beyond the professional accolades, Greg Louganis was battling a number of personal difficulties.
His best-selling autobiography, Breaking the Surface, is a revealing account of a man struggling with far more than simply striving to be a great athlete. For years, Louganis' cheerful public persona never hinted at the personal troubles he has had to surmount - his HIV diagnosis, coming out as a gay man, domestic violence, substance abuse, dyslexia, and surrounding all of this was depression. Unbeknown to his fans and supporters the Olympic Champion was suffering from depression, which was driven by late-detected dyslexia. Louganis has confronted all of these challenges in a positive way and has honestly shared his adversities with people everywhere.
Today, Greg 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, health care organizations and corporate groups, his honesty and message of tolerance and understanding have inspired millions around the world.
More than just a great athlete, Greg also co-hosted segments on Good Morning America during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, a first for an openly gay athlete. His video, Looking to the Light, is a feature length visual diary of his life after Breaking the Surface and details how his story has influenced so many people. His recent book, For the Life of Your Dog, is about the challenges and joys of living with and caring for dogs, one of Greg's favorite pursuits.
Greg’s introduction to the world of diving was at the age of ten, when he first began competing. By age sixteen he had won his first Olympic medal, a Silver, on the platform in the 1976 Olympics. In 1984, at age 24, he became the first man in 56 years to win two Olympic gold medals in diving by winning both the platform and springboard events. In 1986, Greg again won both the platform and springboard events at the World Championships. Two years later at the 1988 Olympics, competing against divers half his age, and despite a near disastrous injury during a dive, he became the first man to win double gold medals for diving in two consecutive Olympics.
Greg’s diving accomplishments do not stop there. In total, he has won the World Championships five times and has held a record number of National Championship titles. In 1985 he was awarded the Sullivan Award as the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete. At the 1988 Olympic Games he was awarded the Maxwell House/United States Olympic Committee Spirit Award as the Olympic athlete who had best exhibited the ideals of the Olympic spirit, demonstrated extraordinary courage and contributed significantly to the sport.