People circulate online petitions for many different causes, and earlier this year, one particularly passionate crusade was aimed at something its supporters deemed long overdue: putting former Olympian Greg Louganis on a Wheaties box.
Dozens of Olympians have been given this honor over the last few decades, and as a diver who took home gold medals and even set an Olympic record, Louganis seemed more than worthy himself. Yet, he was never put on a Wheaties box during the height of his diving career in the ‘80s. Many speculated that the reason he wasn’t considered was the fact that he is a gay man.
Now, however, Louganis graces the front of the coveted cereal box as a part of Wheaties’ revamped “legends” series. He recently opened up to “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” about what this honor means to him, especially in the context of his work for gay rights.
“It means more now than it probably would’ve then, because they would’ve been celebrating the athlete [back then],” he says. “I’m a gay man living with HIV. I feel like I’m being embraced as a whole person, and not just a part of me.”
In 2013, Louganis reached another milestone he never thought would happen, when he married his partner, Johnny Chaillot, during a ceremony in Malibu.
“We’ve come so far as far as marriage equality and so many things that I’ve really kind of fought hard for,” Louganis says. “I never thought I’d see the day that I would be able to get married.”
If there’s one thing Louganis has taken away from his experiences, it’s that nothing is impossible.
“Never give up,” he says. “Never give up on yourself, never give up on your dreams. You never know what’s going to happen.”
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