Four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis, hailed by many as diving’s greatest Olympics champion, has earned his latest accolade for activities out of the pool’s diving well.
Equality Florida Institute will present Louganis with its highest honor, The Voice for Equality Award, at the organization’s 15th annual Equality Florida Broward Gala on Nov. 12 at Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale.
The Voice for Equality award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated sacrifice, courage and personal commitment to LGBT equality.
Past recipients include tennis champ Martina Navratilova; Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case in which the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry; and YouTube personality, LGBTQ activist Jazz Jennings.
Louganis, a University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame inductee, said in a statement, “I am truly humbled to be receiving this award from Equality Florida. It’s an organization that is doing incredible work. Just last year they raised $10 million for victims following the Pulse nightclub shooting. If what I do can help to reduce the stigma that prevents people from getting lifesaving HIV testing and treatment, then I’m happy.”
In 1995, Louganis revealed that he had tested positive for HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, before the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he won two gold medals. He also published his autobiography, “Breaking the Surface,” and was featured in the 2014 documentary, “Back on Board.”
“It is especially timely that Greg is our Voice for Equality honoree this year, as Equality Florida recently launched its HIV Advocacy Program, with the goal of reducing HIV stigma through public education,” said Terry Gaw, event co-chair, in a statement.
“Sports figures are seen as role models, exemplifying what is possible, and their cautionary tales can carry additional significance,” he said. “Greg has paved the way, inspiring others to live their lives fully and without shame.”
If you go
What: 15th annual Equality Florida Broward Gala, honoring diver and activist Greg Louganis
When: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12
Where: The Crystal Ballroom at Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six, 2301 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale
Information: www.equalityflorida.org/browardgala or 305-335-2102