In 1988, Greg Louganis (USA) entered the Seoul Olympics as the defending champion in the 3m Springboard event, and the favorite to win the '88 title in addition to his two World Championships in the event from 1982 and 1986. (Note: he was also the favorite, the defending champion, and the World Champion in the 10m Platform). on his ninth dive in the preliminaries, he attempted a reverse 2-1/2 somersault pike, and slammed the back of his head onto the board. After receiving sutures on-site, he completed the rest of his dives to qualify for the final, in which he did capture the gold. And, he added the Platform gold, too. As shocking as the accident was for an elite diver, let alone the world's best, more discussion arose years later when Louganis revealed he was HIV-positive at the time. Considering the easy fright any mention of HIV caused in the 80's, it is remarkable that he and his team retained composure enough to continue successfully. I remember the event clearly, and remember the subsequent disclosure as well and thought at the time what a circus it would have been had he been public with his status. Today, Louganis is a strong role model for living a healthy life with HIV, and remains arguably the best-ever diver with 5 World Championships, and 5 Olympic medals, 4 of which were gold.
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Me at Rio 2016's Barra Olympic Park
Header: Kallimamaro stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896
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