Former Olympian Shares Theory On What Many Elite Athletes Have In Common

It was sparked by a conversation with Caitlyn Jenner.

In 1976, swimmer Greg Louganis walked in the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. He was one of nearly 400 Americans competing for gold in the Games ― as was fellow athlete Caitlyn Jenner.

This was, of course, decades before Jenner’s transition, and Louganis (who refers to Jenner as “Bruce” in discussing that period) recently told “Oprah: Where Are They Now ― Extra” that he and Jenner continued to cross paths regularly outside of the Olympics. During one of their conversations back then, Louganis says he realized something quite interesting about his fellow Olympian.

“I remember one conversation that I had with Bruce, talking and sharing back and forth about our learning difference, that we’re both dyslexic,” Louganis recalls.

For Louganis, it seemed like it could be more than a similarity between just the two of them.

“That was fascinating to me,” Louganis says. “That was the first time that it kind of dawned on me that there might be a lot of elite athletes ... like [me] who didn’t feel that they had their academics.”

Perhaps, he reasons, this is how some people choose to be athletes.

“When you don’t feel like you have your academics, then you pour yourself into something else, into something that you are good at,” Louganis says.

As for his friendship with Jenner today, Louganis ― an LGBTQ advocate himself ― remains as supportive as ever.

“I hope that she’s happy. That’s all I care about,” he says. “I know it’s a tremendous road for any transgender person, and every story’s different... We all have our journey.”

Another update with an Olympic swimmer:


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