Breaking the Surface


By Greg Louganis

cover image of Breaking the Surface

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Champions aren't born, they're made.

The haunting, searingly candid New York Times bestselling memoir of Greg Louganis' journey to overcome homophobia, colorism, and disability to become one of the best Olympic athletes in the world.

Greg Louganis began diving at age nine. At sixteen, he beat out more experienced competitors to win a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. By all accounts, the world was his for the taking. But there was more happening beneath the surface...

In his tell-all autobiography Greg invites readers into the harrowing, inspirational true story of his life on and off the diving board. Adopted at nine months, Greg spent most of his life fighting colorism in his community and struggling with late-detected dyslexia. Athleticism was an area in which he thrived—he was in control, he could prove his worth, and he would show the world what he was capable of. But as a closeted gay man living in a violently homophobic world, Greg lived in fear: fear that coming out would mean sacrificing his career and reputation, and fear that by not speaking out he was perpetuating the status-quo. But as his skill as a diver became internationally known, the spotlight he found himself under only intensified his struggles, leading to difficulties with relationships and substance abuse. It took the true spirit of a champion to heal, rise above adversity, and fight for others.

A sports memoir and LGBTQ book in the vein of Meg Rapinoe's One Life, in Breaking the Surface Olympic diver Greg Louganis reflects on the highs and lows of his iconic life and career—from testing positive to HIV and going on to win double gold medals at the Olympics, to overcoming astounding prejudice and becoming an LGBTQ+ activist—in a raw, honest exploration of how we define greatness.

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Breaking the Surface