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Greg Louganis on Caitlyn Jenner: 'We All Have Our Own Journeys'

Greg Louganis on Caitlyn Jenner: 'We All Have Our Own Journeys'

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The Olympic diver talked the struggles of LGBT athletes while discussing his new documentary, Back on Board.

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Greg Louganis expressed empathy for fellow LGBT Olympian Caitlyn Jenner.

The gay diver, who won Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988, opened up about the paths LGBT athletes take, as they weigh the risks of coming out in an arena that may not be welcoming.

"We all have our journeys. Whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, we all have our own journeys," he said at an event promoting his new documentary, Greg Louganis: Back on Board, reports The Associated Press.

The 55-year-old Olympian said that he "had no idea" of Jenner's stuggle with her gender identity throughout their athletic careers. They both competed at the 1976 Summer Olympics, where Jenner won the men's decathlon and Louganis earned a silver medal.

"Our paths haven't crossed since she transitioned, but I'm looking forward [to seeing her]" he said.

Their individual stories illustrate how economic incentives may keep LGBT athletes closeted. At the peak of their athletic careers, Jenner won lucrative endorsement deals, such as being the face and spokesperson of Wheaties cereal.

In contrast, Louganis faced difficulties obtaining such opportunities. Even before coming out as gay in 1992, and later, as HIV-positive in 1995, he believes his sexual orientation was an open secret that may have closed doors.

When asked if his sexuality may have been a factor in not being hired by NBC Sports as a commentator in the early 90s, he responded that stigma against his status was more of an issue.

"I think in '92 it was more fear of my health status... in '92, people were still dying," he says about the AIDS crisis.

In present day, Louganis is a coach, a motivational speaker, and is set to be a commentator of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro with a different network.

His documentary, directed by Cheryl Furjanic, tells his own journey. It debuts Tuesday on HBO. Watch the trailer below.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.