Even one of the world’s greatest divers ever has overcome some setbacks.

Greg Louganis, who won double gold at two consecutive Olympics and received the first-ever perfect 10s at a World Championship, struggled mightily in school. Louganis had trouble reading in elementary and middle school and was placed in speech therapy and special education classes.

"In grade school, I always hated reading in front of other people because I made so many mistakes," Louganis said. "So I would take the book home and memorize a few paragraphs. Then I would volunteer to read those particular paragraphs because they were memorized."

Though he struggled in school at a young age, Louganis didn’t recognize his dyslexia until high school.

"I was given 'dyslexia' as a vocabulary word in my freshman English class," he said. “Once I knew what dyslexia was, I recognized it."

However, he excelled in tumbling and found a love for the pool at a young age. Louganis continued to train hard and scored perfect 10s at the Junior Olympics and won a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Games at age 16. Louganis was heavily recruited to dive in college, and earned a scholarship to the University of Miami, where he majored in drama. He attributes his dyslexia to his choice in major.

"Actors are just storytellers," Louganis said. "And that is how I would memorize my script." He adds, "I don’t feel as if I am disabled. I just learn differently."

Once Louganis finished school, he continued to dive. In 1984 and 1988, he won two gold medals each. And aside from his first Olympic medal, he has never lost a competition—Louganis has competed in the Olympics, World Championships, and the Pan-American Games.

To read more about Louganis’ successes, read ESPN’s feature story [1].

Even one of the world’s greatest divers ever has overcome some setbacks.
Greg Louganis