CLEVELAND –The Cleveland Foundation, in partnership with the 2014 Gay Games and The City Club of Cleveland, today confirmed that Greg Louganis, the first man to win two gold medals in diving in two consecutive Olympiads, will participate in the opening weekend of Gay Games 9.
On Saturday, Aug. 9, Louganis will headline "The Power of Embracing Difference," a Cleveland Foundation-City Club special event to kick off the first weekend of the 2014 Gay Games.
Louganis will join Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard in a conversation on the power of embracing difference and diversity, and the impact of the Gay Games on participants and the Greater Cleveland community.
Later in the day, Louganis will be part of the Opening Ceremony at Quicken Loans Arena.
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Gay Games registration (Register before July 1 to avoid late fee)
26th annual Cleveland Pride Parade/Festival June 28 (Noon to 8 p.m. at Voinovich Park by the Rock Hall)
The Gay Games kick off in Cleveland with the Pointer Sisters, Lance Bass and Andrea McArdle performing at the opening ceremonies on Aug. 9.
Boy George will headline the official Gay Games 9 White Party on Monday, Aug. 11, at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in downtown Cleveland. This party is said to be the "premiere" social event of the Gay Games.
The games, which will bring athletes from across the globe to Cleveland and Akron, run through Aug. 16.
"Greg Louganis has a tremendous story, one that he shares with a warmth and grace that embody the spirit of the Gay Games," Richard said. "We are proud to welcome Greg and the world to Cleveland and Akron, and look forward to starting an important conversation on how our community can continue to build on the legacy of the Games for years and generations to come."
Louganis' visit is a double anniversary for the diver who broke records and won hearts at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Thirty years ago, he trained as a member of the U.S. Olympic dive team at Busbey Natatorium at Cleveland State University. Twenty years ago, the gold medalist broke ground when he came out publicly at Gay Games IV in New York.
An author, Louganis published his best-selling memoir Breaking the Surface, detailing his struggles against domestic abuse and HIV. It was only after coming out as an HIV-positive gay man that he was able to find peace and help others fighting personal battles.
Doors to the City Club event will open at noon Aug. 9, with the program running from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
For more information and tickets, please visit the City Club website