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slides: Spotted In Portland: Olympian Greg Louganis at Queer Film Festival

Monday, October 06, 2014

 

Gabe and Greg

Portland Queer Film Festival Director Gabriel Mendoza and Greg Louganis. Photo by Byron Beck.

Spotted in Portland: Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis kicked off the opening night of the Queer Film Festival at Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland on Friday night.

"Diving is poetry," Greg Louganis said in front of a packed crowd who had just watched a compelling documentary about him, "Back on Board: Greg Louganis," that officially kicked off this year's Queer Film Festival.

Louganis was quoting someone else, but he could have easily been talking about himself.

Louganis, a four-time Olympic champion, is considered by many the greatest diver who has ever lived.

But that title has not come easy. Not by a long shot. 

SLIDESHOW: See photos of Greg Louganis at Queer Film Festival happenings below.

The film, directed by Cheryl Furjanic, goes behind the hype and the glory of being an Olympic athelete and delves into the gut-wrenching personal struggle of an individual whose grace and beauty could not shield him from the complexities of life. It is an amazing film that focuses on the last three years of Louganis's life, long after the medals and accolades and a time where he is faced with the reality that he may lose everything and end up living out of his recreational vehicle.

It is also a story of hope and courage. The courage to come out as an openly gay, H.I.V. positive athlete who still has plenty to give to his sport and to the world. After seeing the film you realize Louganis is a champ both on and off the diving board. 

After the film, Greg joined film fest attendees at Cafe Nell for drinks and nibbles. Incredibly sweet in person, and a bit shy, Greg graciously posed for photos with everyone who asked.

 

Related Slideshow: Spotted In Portland: Olympian Greg Louganis at Queer Film Festival

Spotted in Portland: Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis kicked off the opening night of the Queer Film Festival at Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland on Friday night.

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Cinema 21

Cinema 21 marquee for opening night of Portland Queer Film Festival featuring Greg Louganis in person. 

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Gabe and Greg

Portland Queer Film Festival director Gabriel Mendoza and Greg Louganis at Cinema 21.

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Brandon and Paul

Brandon Alexander III, star of First Period, and Paul Richmond at Cafe Nell after party.

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Robert, Greg and Juan

Nike's Robert Goman, Greg Louganis and Juan Martinez at Cafe Nell after party. 

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Greg and Vanessa

Greg Louganis and Cafe Nell Owner Vanessa Preston. 

 
 

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