The Tournament of Roses on Thursday announced that Greg Louganis will be one of three grand marshals for the Rose Parade and Tournament of Roses, which will march through Pasadena on Jan. 1., 2017. He joins former Olympic swimmer Janet Evans and Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix.
Between the three athletes they have 19 Olympic medals.
Louganis said on Facebook he was “incredibly honored” to be selected along with the two other decorated Olympians. He told Outsports this will be the second time he’s been in the Rose Parade, previously on a float for Mission Viejo.
It’s been quite a few years for Louganis, who just five years ago seemed to have drifted into the distant memory of American sports fans. Since then he helped coach American diver David Boudia to Olympic gold and has been an integral mentor for various divers, including Tom Daley. He has had a powerful and successful documentary film made about his life. And, of course, he finally appeared on a Wheaties box.
If you haven’t met Louganis, you should make an effort to do so. Every time I see him there is a beautifully welcoming aura about him. He signs many Facebook posts, emails and messages “Namaste,” reflecting what seems to be an inner and outer peace he has found. He’s just an overall great guy who has done so much for gay visibility in sports and inspiring those living with HIV.
Huge congratulations to Louganis for this great honor! Even if it means waking up at 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day.