About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

December 18th, 2013
05:42 PM ET

Openly gay, former Olympian's advice to athletes

(CNN) - Two-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis struggled with sexuality as a professional athlete. The former diver took home gold medals in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. A few years later, he came out as a gay man living with HIV, all documented in the new film "Back On Board."

"It was bad enough being gay growing up in the United States, and, you know, I didn't have legislation against who I was as a person," said Louganis.

Louganis is referring to Russia's strict law banning so-called "gay propaganda," which will be in full effect at the Sochi Winter Olympics in a few weeks.

The White House announced no one from the administration will attend the 2014 games, though several openly gay American athletes will travel to Russia as part of the U.S. Olympic delegation.

Louganis said current Olympians can also do their part to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

"If they are successful and they are interviewed, then dedicate your performance to your openly gay, you know, aunt, uncle," said Louganis. "That's how we can support the LGBT community in Russia."

The former Olympic diver does not support boycotting Sochi – he himself missed out on the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because of the U.S. boycott.

"I don't feel that Olympic boycotts work. They hurt the wrong people," said Louganis.

"But when you talk about commerce and business, that works," said Louganis. "Take it out on the sponsors, what the heck."

Posted by ,
Filed under: World Lead
soundoff (No Responses)

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.