On August 4, HBO will premiere Back On Board: Greg Louganis. The film, which won the audience award for documentary feature at Outfest in 2014, is an up close and personal look at the life of the four-time Olympic gold medalist, now 55. It examines the many hardships Louganis has faced — before, during and after his Olympic glory — as well as the choices, relationships and missed opportunities that he has experienced throughout his career.
In addition to winning back-to-back gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, Greg Louganis was one of the first openly gay athletes in America. When Louganis came out during a 1995 press conference, he also revealed he was HIV-positive, cementing his status as an activist. When asked about that defining moment during an interview with Queerty last year, Louganis explained, “I didn’t realize it at the time because I was just thinking, ‘I’m Greg Louganis. I’m known for diving. I’m nothing special.’ Now I realize how just being myself and sharing who I am, I am an activist.”
Greg returned to professional diving to mentor the 2012 Olympic hopefuls after a lengthy hiatus of over 25 years. “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 Will Sweeney, the writer-producer of Back On Board. “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.”
Watch a clip of Greg mentoring younger swimmers below.
Louganis expressed the awkwardness of watching a documentary in which he is always front and center. “It was somewhat disturbing but, ya know, it’s my life,”he told us last year. “The thing I’m proud of is that I take ownership of it because; like I say in the film, ‘I allowed it.’ I allowed the abuse. I allowed a lot of the things that happened in my life. I have to own up and take responsibility for that.”
Watch the trailer for the compelling doc below.