Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
The champion diver offers a candid account of his life and sports career, detailing his troubled youth, the highs and lows of athletic competition, the need to conceal his homosexuality, and life in a post-Olympics era

Blackwell North Amer
No one who watched the 1988 Olympics on television will ever forget seeing Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board during the ninth dive of the springboard preliminaries. Millions felt his pain and then held their breath as the two-time gold medalist returned to the board only minutes later, with four stitches and a waterproof patch, and executed what was perhaps the best dive of the 1988 Olympics.
People around the world knew they were witnessing a singular moment of extraordinary courage and perseverance. Many still remember the dramatic images of the days that followed: Greg's spectacular diving despite the patch and the stitches, Greg smiling as he tapped his heart to show how hard it was beating, Greg on the platform praying before his final dive, Greg winning his third and fourth gold medals, the very symbol of the Olympic spirit.
At a team banquet after the diving was over, Greg thanked his coach, Ron O'Brien, saying, "Nobody will ever know what we went through, nobody." And apart from O'Brien and a handful of people close to Louganis, nobody did know - until the publication of this book - that several months prior to the '88 Olympics, Greg had tested positive for HIV.
Breaking the Surface is the unflinchingly honest story of a man breaking free of a lifetime of silence and isolation. Born to a young Samoan father and Northern European mother, adopted at nine months by Pete and Frances Louganis, Greg began performing at age three in local dance and acrobatic competitions. He started diving lessons at age nine, and at sixteen he won a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. But despite his astonishing athletic skill and artistry on the diving board. Greg struggled with late-detected dyslexia, prejudice toward his dark skin coloring, and anguish over his sexual orientation, which he felt compelled to hide.
Being in the spotlight intensified difficulties with personal relationships and substance abuse. Like many other elite athletes, Greg found that the highs that came with winning never compensated for the lows. But despite his demons and personal disappointments, he always conveyed a warmth and grace that people remembered long after the '88 Olympics.
Greg returned to national prominence when he stepped forward at the 1994 Gay Games in New York City and then urged the U.S. Olympic Committee to move the 1996 volleyball preliminaries from the Georgia county that had passed a resolution condemning gay people.
By speaking out at this time, Greg hopes to raise awareness about a number of key issues, including AIDS prevention and research and domestic violence. "I'm doing it now," he says, "because I want to tell my story in my own words while I still have the chance. I'm finally ready to tell my story. I hope you're ready to hear it."

Baker
& Taylor

The world's greatest diver offers a candid account of his life and sports career, detailing his troubled youth, the highs and lows of athletic competition, the need to conceal his homosexuality, and life in a post-Olympics era. 75,000 first printing. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c1995
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0679437037
Branch Call Number: B LOUGANIS
Characteristics: 290 p
Additional Contributors: Marcus, Eric

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