Greg Louganis started competitive diving as a 10 year old. He took part in his first Olympic Games, the 1976 Montreal Games, aged just 16 and claimed silver in the 10m platform. Four years later, he was firmly established as the world’s best diver, but the United States’ boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games meant that he had to wait another four years to taste Olympic gold.
At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Louganis found himself competing in front of his home crowd in California. He won the gold medal in both the 3m springboard and 10m platform events. This made him the first Olympian in 56 years to achieve this spectacular double.
Four years later in Seoul, Louganis was now a veteran of his sport and faced a number of upcoming younger rivals. Yet despite striking the board with his head in the springboard, Louganis dramatically retained both his Olympic titles. Given his dominance, it is highly probable that the 1980 boycott prevented Louganis from winning the diving double at three consecutive Games, which would have been an unprecedented feat.
Of Samoan and European descent, Louganis studied classical dance for many years, and this training provided the basis for the elegance and artistry of his performances. In addition to his Olympic titles, he won six World Championships and held many records for the highest marks ever achieved in competition.