August 4, 2015 HBO Sports launches Back on Board, the documentary about Greg Louganis the American Olympic diver who came out as gay in 1995 and also announced he was HIV positive. In the documentary Louganis traces his story from a difficult childhood, through his Olympic conquests, to a transformative post-Olympic life, outlining the discrimination and other obstacles he has faced throughout his remarkable journey.
"Greg's story is connected to so many important moments in American history, including the Olympics, the AIDS epidemic, the gay rights movement and even the recent home-foreclosure crisis," says writer-producer Will Sweeney. "Greg's return to diving to mentor the Olympic team gave us a natural way to tell his unique story and explore his enduring legacy. We are thrilled to release the film with HBO Sports."
Now 55, Greg Louganis was adopted before his first birthday and grew up in Southern California, taking up diving at age nine. Throughout a difficult childhood, he was forced to deal with depression, bullying and prejudice.
Louganis won the silver medal in the 10M Platform event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal at age 16. In 1978, his diving skills earned him a scholarship to the University of Miami. Three years later, following the United States boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, where Louganis would have been the favorite in two diving events, he returned to Southern California to finish his degree and diving career at the University of California, Irvine. Great controversy surrounded his career when he suffered a cut on his head after he hit the diving board during a preliminary round of the Seoul Games, but went on to win his gold medals days later. Though the public originally praised the win, it was unknow that he had tested positive for HIV six months earlier. When Louganis later announced that he was HIV-positive, it sparked outrage over his non-disclosure of the virus and sparked a nationwide conversation about HIV/AIDS and sports.
"Greg Louganis is one of the most decorated and celebrated Olympians of any generation, and we are delighted to share his story - both personal and athletic - with the acquisition of this documentary," says Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports. "Greg allowed the filmmakers unrestricted access to his life story and viewers will benefit from this deeply personal portrait and gain a terrific perspective on his complicated and rewarding life."
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