His prowess was undiminished in 1988 in Seoul where he completed the first repeat double of the men’s two individual diving titles. There was plenty of drama, though, in the detail. While performing a reverse two and half somersault in the pike position in the springboard preliminaries he struck his head on the board. He was briefly concussed and needed four sutures to close the wound. Remarkably, he was back on the board less than an hour later. He performed another reverse somersault for which his mark of 87.12 points was the highest of the preliminaries.
When Louganis broke down at the end of the Games it was generally assumed he was undergoing an emotional release after what he had been through and what he had achieved in Seoul.
In fact Louganis, a homosexual, did not go public with the full story behind his tears until 1995. Less than a year before the Games he tested HIV-positive; he was told he might already have AIDS. In Seoul he was taking the drug AZT every four hours.
After he announced this, he faced criticism for not disclosing his medical record at the time of his head injury. The concern was that the blood from his wound might have exposed rivals and officials to HIV. Those who did take AIDS tests proved negative.
(Article by Jon Henderson)