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Greg Louganis recorded an unprecedented double/double in Olympic diving when he won gold medals in the men’s 3-meter springboard and platform competition in both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Few will ever forget how he fought back in 1988. In the springboard event he missed one dive and hit the board with his head. Physicians stitched his cut, and he went on to win. In the platform diving he won the gold on his final performance with an incredible reverse three-and-a-half somersault tuck. It was a breathtaking finish that brought Americans to their feet. It was the same dive that clinched the gold for Louganis in the ’84 games. When reporters hounded him in Los Angeles he gave them a very unusual response. They asked, "What were you thinking about as you prepared for your final dive?" Maybe they were referring to the pressure, or to the fact that that dive is extremely dangerous and killed a Soviet diver just a year before in 1983. Louganis’ simple answer was, "I was thinking that no matter what happens, my mother will still love me." When Greg was just eleven, he became very frustrated at his diving performance in an early and important meet. Frances Louganis took her son aside and said, "I do not come to see you win. I come to see you dive. Just do your best. I will love you no matter what." That unconditional love carried her son to forty-three national diving titles, six Pan-American gold medals, five world championships, one Olympic silver medal, and four Olympic golds. Unconditional love can cause anyone to excel.


* Reader’s Digest, June 1988, p. 163-170

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