Inspirational Olympic stories #6 - Greg Louganis' comeback
There are few things that are more exciting in sports than comebacks. When Michael Schumacher comes back and gets back on the podium, it gives us a chill. When Roger Federer wins a Grandslam after two years, it is exciting. But, when a guy comes back from suffering a serious concussion to win an Olympic Gold, it probably is the mother of all comebacks.
There are few things that are more exciting in sports than comebacks. When Michael Schumacher returns and gets back on the podium, it gives us a chill. When Roger Federer wins a grand-slam after two years, it is exciting. But, when a guy comes back from suffering a serious concussion to win an Olympic Gold, it probably is the mother of all comebacks.
#6 – Greg Louganis’ story
Greg Louganis in diving is the equivalent of Roger Federer in Tennis and Rahul Dravid in Cricket. He was literally poetry personified in air. In the 1984 games in Los Angeles, Louganis won two golds and was all set to repeat the same feat in 1988. He did exactly that, but under amazing circumstances!
In what turned out to be the most dramatic Olympic scenes of all time, Louganis began his reverse 2 1/2 pike and ended with the bottom of his head hitting the floor. He helped himself out of the water holding his head. The crowd watched in total silence as Louganis suffered a concussion. He was rushed to the hospital where he received five stitches.
But nothing could stop him. Louganis, just 35 minutes after the incident, came back and scored the highest single score of the tournament to qualify to the finals. In the finals, he stunned the world as he attempted the same daring 2 1/2 pike and completed that successfully to become the first man ever to successfully defend an Olympic springboard title.
Louganis earned near perfect scores for his final dive and won the gold by a record 25 point margin.
When asked about the event, Louganis said,
“As soon as it happened, I told my coach (Ron O’Brien), ‘That is what everyone is going to remember,’ . O’Brien looked at Louganis and challenged him: “Then just be sure you win the damn event,” O’Brien told Louganis.
Louganis seeing the comic side of the event commented “I guess you can tease me about being a drama queen, because that did heighten the drama,”
Although Louganis’ fame went down after he admitted that he was gay and was HIV positive during the time of the dive in 1995, he still remains a great inspiration to those who want to overcome the odds.
Olympic games are all about winning and Greg Louganis did just that, overcoming great adversity in times of utmost despair. From being a child prodigy to an Olympic Icon and from being a pioneer for the Gay community to becoming a forgotten icon, Louganis’ career has seen almost everything.
In times of these Summer Olympic Games, it is only fair that we remember the achievements of this great American Icon who personified the word “Comeback”.
Here’s a video showing Louganis’ achievements in the 1988 games
Here is a list of other entires that made it to our list