ADVERTISEMENT |  REMOVE ADS

Olympic History: Louganis' Diving Accident During 1988 Games in Seoul

An account of Greg Louganis' diving accident at the 1988 Seoul Olympic games.
Grades:
9 |
10 |
11 |
Subjects:
CREATE NEW FOLDER
Cancel
The terrifying diving accident of Seoul's 1988 games occurred on September 19, 1988, on the ninth of Greg Louganis's eleven preliminary dives in the three-meter springboard competition. Louganis, the world's best diver, cracked his head on the diving board and hit the water with a big splat. The defending Olympic champion was attempting a reverse 2 1/2-somersault pike but did not get enough separation from the board.

"I didn't realize I was that close to the board," Louganis would say later. "When I hit it, it was kind of a shock. But I think my pride was hurt more than anything else."

Louganis returned to finish his qualifying dives 35 minutes after suffering a cut that required temporary sutures. Following the preliminary round, Louganis went to a hospital and got five stitches. Days later he won yet another gold medal and become the first diver in history to successfully defend his Olympic springboard title. The incident took on added concern years later in 1995 when the four-time gold medallist revealed to Barbara Walters and the world that he had AIDS, and had been HIV-positive during the 1988 Games.

"I was in a total panic that I might cause someone else harm," he wrote in his 1995 autobiography, Breaking the Surface. "I wanted to warn Dr. Puffer (who treated his head injury in 1988 without wearing gloves) but I was paralyzed. Everything was all so mixed up at that point: the HIV, the shock and embarrassment of hitting my head and an awful feeling that it was all over."

Dr. Puffer was told about Louganis's condition in 1994 and tested negative for HIV.

Your Free Gift

The Ultimate Back-to-School Guide

Teachers are always thinking about their students, but devotion to their progress shouldn’t come at the expense of your own. That’s why we’ve created an “Ultimate Back-to-School Guide” for teachers based on our nine future-ready skill domains.

What you can expect from this guide:

  • Learn 9 ways to become a better teacher by developing a positive mindset.
  • Links to dozens of free resources curated by our experts to help you both in and outside the classroom.
  • Clear steps to improve your teaching and general well-being.

Sign up for a premium membership to get your Ultimate Back-to-School Guide absolutely free!

SIGN UP TO CLAIM YOUR FREE GIFT

ultimate back-to-school guide for teachers

Register