Back on Board: Greg Louganis

DIRECTOR: Cheryl Furjanic

Expected to attend: Subject Greg Louganis, Director Cheryl Furjanic, Producer Will Sweeney

Four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis sky-rocketed to international glory after sweeping the diving events in consecutive Olympiads at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Games. This touching documentary catches up with the diving legend in 2011, when he is far from the public eye and struggling to pay the mortgage on his longtime Malibu residence. The fit fiftysomething, who never made it onto a Wheaties box, despite his trademark smile and four gold medals, has had trouble maintaining a financially viable career. Boxes are strewn about his modest and partially unfinished home, with memorabilia labeled ready for auction.

While straight athletes were raking it in, Louganis’s long-rumored homosexuality cost him greatly in potential endorsement deals. In the early 1990s, Louganis’s public revelation that he was HIV-positive caused a media frenzy, especially in light of his still gasp-inducing head-hitting springboard dive at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games.

Throughout this stirring film, we see phenomenal footage of Louganis at his athletic peak, executing dives with precision and grace. We also witness the incredibly strong emotional bonds he still has with two former coaches and mentors. Eventually we see the pioneering athlete, who admits to having felt ostracized, being courted back to the sport as a USA Diving team mentor for 2012 London Games hopefuls. This may be his last chance to regain some of the success he enjoyed at the height of his career. Will this comeback help preserve his legacy?

— Chris Keech

Back on Board: Greg Louganis is a Frameline Completion Fund recipient.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D302

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