Customer Reviews (36)
An eyeopener.Has a lot of guts.Louganis really lays himself out a human.Kudos
"The Most Touching Tale of a Gay Man's Life"
I first heard of Greg Louganis after seeing him on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" in the '90s when he was publicizing his book "Breaking the Surface". I don't follow sports, and I am also not of fan of the Olympics, but I felt such a strong connection to Greg after seeing him on TV. I too am gay and can relate to Greg's story on how hard it was growing up gay in the 1960's and 1970's, the dangers of someone finding out one's sexuality, and the terror of the AIDS crisis. Greg Louganis' story is one of survival and hope and of never giving up. Not only is he a role model for gay men of every age, but for those struggling with problems and not realizing that things will work out.
Greg's story is harrowing at times. He had a terrible relationship with a man who abused him and ultimately raped him. Then in the '80s he discovered he was HIV positive, a result of that rape. Greg became HIV at a time when doctors didn't offer much hope for those infected as this was the era before AIDS cocktails and protease inhibitors. Greg survived it all. Then of course came that time at the summer Olympics when he hit his head on the diving board and bled, knowing he was HIV, and realizing he had to go public with his HIV status.
Greg is not only a survivor, but one of the best gay public figures to ever come out and be courageous in telling his story for those to learn from his own life. "Breaking The Surface" is a great read. It was also made into a TV movie starring hunk Mario Lopez as Greg that aired on cable television.
The reason I didn't give the book a 5 rating was becauseit could have had a better ending. Greg was SO timid and let everyone else run his life for him. It never improved until the end. And this bit about him always being scared to come out of the closet--geez. Who did he think he was-Tom Cruise or somebody really noteworthy or famous?? He was a gold medalist from an Olympic contest for Pete's sake--it would have made the news for a day and then blown over.I kind of wonder what his life would have been like if he had run it himself.
But--it was a good book and I did enjoy it and I loaned it to a friend, and both of us had it read in 4 days.
It is a great autobiography in the sense that the author is very honest with his readers and being true to himself.
The author has made great introspections on his life and through the chapters on his childhood, family, diving career as well as relationships, you will be inspired to think along of your own and relate it to his stories. It is not only readng a story of the author but also a soul-searching journey of your own.
It does not matter that you are not a professional diver or have little interest in the sport since the chapters on diving do not include technical details that bore the non-sportlovers. Instead they display how Greg Louganis accomplished his achievements through years of hard work and perseverance rather than depending on his good look or luck, if any.
His story of success in career is as thought-provoking as the later chapters on his struggle to live with HIV-positive and pursuit of the cause of non-discrimination against gays.
Also the photos in the book are fantastic. You can see some on his childhood, friends and family, diving and a few of them are gorgeous and sexy(e.g.centerfold in Playgirl)that won't disappoint you.
We must give the author a credit that he did not show off how many important people he had ever taken pictures with but included those who are important to his life. If you challenge me about the two photos of the presidents, don't judge him too soon, look at the caption and you will know why.
The third last sentence of the book is "I just hope I have enough time to make a difference". After reading the book, you will agree with me that he did and did it amazingly. Thank you, Greg Louganis.
Behind the Gold Medals
This book provides further gut wrenching proof that outward success is no guarantee of happiness or spiritual wholeness.Almost the opposite it seems.4 Olympic Golds, a body and a smile to die for, and yet trapped in self loathing and an abusive relationship.
Greg Louganis is not alone in recovering from this paradoxical situation, but his story is a moving and powerful one nonetheless.It also provides hope to us who will never be Olympic medalists but still suffer from self doubt and self destructive ways.
... Read more