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Project of the Day: Gay Rights Pioneer and Olympian Makes a Return in ‘Back on Board Greg Louganis’

Project of the Day: Gay Rights Pioneer and Olympian Makes a Return in 'Back on Board Greg Louganis'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

Back on Board Greg Louganis

Tweetable Logline: 

Life and Legacy of Olympic Champion and gay rights pioneer Greg Louganis. Film follows his comeback to diving after a 20+ yr absence.

Elevator Pitch:

When Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board at the 1988 Seoul Games, it was an unforgettable moment. But when, despite his injury, he earned the highest single score for his next dive and win the Gold, it was among the most incredible feats in history.

BACK ON BOARD is an engrossing story about an American legend and his comeback. Film reveals Louganis’ evolution from childhood prodigy to Olympic champion, from pioneering openly gay athlete with HIV to an overlooked sports icon. His return to diving as mentor to USA divers at Olympics provides new chapter of life-story.

Production Team:

Director: Cheryl Furjanic (Sync or Swim)
Producer: Will Sweeney (The Royal Tenenbaums)
Editor: Karen K. H. Sim (Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie, Coma, Frontline)
Cinematographer: Nico de Miranda (Exposure)

About the Production:

This is a film with a message of hope and against-the-odds courage. We are confident that Louganis’ legacy will become even more powerful as this film travels throughout the world affecting the lives of the next generation. Louganis’ life has touched, and been touched, by so many of today’s important issues; LGBT issues; HIV/AIDS; bullying; housing crisis; dyslexia; adoption; depression; and domestic violence.

Greg Louganis’ story is so inspiring and his life so extraordinary — we really wanted to watch a documentary about him to learn more. But that film didn’t exist. We are in the process of changing that.

Current Status:

In production, about 95% done with shooting. Editing full-time since May, goal is for festival in early 2013.

For more information and to support this project:

Film Website/Kickstarter Page

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This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged


Lori Stilson-Armstrong

So excited to see it! He deserves the recognition for his victories and triumphs. He is an amazing guy inside and out! I wish the film huge success!

Jim Mooney

Greg is one of the best Athletes to ever compete in any sport. He is an also one of the a great human being.

Jennifer Callahan

I want to see it! It is great to see Greg back in the spotlight. I coach high school diving, and my divers didn't know who Greg was until they searched YouTube. Then, they referred to him all season. He inspired me as a diver and continues to I spire others. Good luck with the production.

Darren Hesse

I grew up watching videos of Greg diving almost daily. Watching him made me a better diver. To me, he was and is the greatest diver ever. I've been coaching high school divers for 10+ years and use his footage as the bar for all areas of diving. His absence from the sport for twenty years was a tragedy for every athlete on the planet. Thank God he's back. He has so much too offer our sport. He is an American Hero. He is my hero. Kudos to the producers!

Cynthia Potter

I would not miss it. You do not have to be a diving fan to be interested in this Greg's story. I have met the director, seen excerpts and have no doubts that this is a terrific piece or work.


He was awesome to watch those many years ago. To come back and share with us again is a wonderful opportunity see a top notch athlete! To see a well rounded happy person follow their passion is a lesson for us all. Thanks.

Dick Wesendunk

He is and always will be the classiest and highest level of what an athlete should be!!
This film will say it all.

Steve Skilken

He is a national treasure! The film will be a classic!

Abby T. Drucker

Superb topic–about activism and bravery! Traits we need to emphasize in this world of ours!


This film sounds amazing. I'm a sucker for good documentaries, but when it's about activism and trying to set the world straight (no pun intended), I'm all on board!


I am so excited as well.

Indie buff

One thing is for sure, with Will Sweeney and Karen Sim on the production this will be a damn good film.


Why is this post here? What does it have to do with the film being discussed?


I am so glad this film is being made. Greg's story is so full of drama and thoughtfulness and Greg himself is a human worth celebrating.


I can't wait for this either. I had a crush on him in the 1988 Olympics when I was a junior in high school. A lot of the girls did. He is still SEXY!


I absolutely want to see this picture made. It's about one of my favorite athletes of all time and I backed the project on Can't wait.


I look forward to seeing this movie. There's a great story to be told here.


I can't wait to see the film. I can remember watching Louganis at the Olympics, and this movie will fill in the gaps for us on his triumphs and dark periods, which speak to who we are as a society (and hopefully how we are changing).


I'm very much looking forward to seeing this film! I was (and am) a fan of Greg Louganis, especially watching him in each Olympics in which he competed. He was always poetry in motion to watch, and it seems his life has been a poem, too. I'm so glad that now is a happy part of the poem, but I want to see the other, not-so-happy parts as well. That's what makes a full and interesting life – one that deserves to be documented.


I can't wait to see this movie. Greg is an inspiration to so many people across the spectrum of humanity… I cried with joy to see him in the stands at the 2012 Olympics, sharing his gifts with the next generation of great American divers. Such acceptance has been long overdue for a man whose talent, grace, and sheer perseverance should serve as an example to all of us. His story should be told; it has taken far too long for many people to be ready to hear it.

Joyce Mitchell

Greg Louganis is an icon in diving. He has that gift. There is a powerful story to tell. What looks beautiful and elegant undoubtedly has come with a myriad of struggles. I'm sure Greg has had to fight hard to learn how to live life on life's terms. And he's succeeding as was demonstrated by his presence at the London Olympic Games. Mentoring young people on the road to Gold and after seems so needed. Greg is helping to fill the void, investing in people through his own lived experience. I want to see and learn more about this hero – who in someways is an unsung hero. Let the film show who he really is and let's stand from the mountain tops and honor this man for his cutting-edge activism on many realms. Thank you.


I am really excited about this movie. I saw Sync or Swim, the other Olympic themed movie Cheryl Furjanic made , and LOVED it. I am looking forward to the treatment she gives to superstar Olympian Greg Louganis.

Will Sweeney

Great movie! But I'm biased!

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