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In 1988, Greg Louganis became the first male athlete to sweep the diving events in two consecutive Olympic games.

His record has remained unbroken for nearly 30 years.

He also received the James E. Sullivan Award for Most Outstanding Amateur Athlete in the United States in 1984, the year of his first Olympics sweep, and he was named "Athlete of the Year" by ABC's Wide World of Sports in 1988.


He probably would have won in the 1980 games, too, if not for the United States' boycott of that year's summer games (he only won the silver at his first Olympics in 1976, when he was 16 years old).

Photo by Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images.

Greg Louganis is also an out, gay man.

Which everyone is all cool about now, but at the height of his career, that wasn't really the case. For all his remarkable accomplishments, there's one place where being gay was, and is, an obstacle for him.

Louganis has yet to be featured on a box of Wheaties cereal.

As Louganis says in an upcoming HBO documentary about his life, he did not fit the criteria for Wheaties' "wholesome demographic."

And yet, the so-called "Breakfast of Champions" has depicted hundreds of athletes on the box, from front-runners of diversity, such as Jesse Owens and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, to not-so-upstanding citizens like Joe Paterno and Alex Rodriguez.

Tiger Woods made it onto the box multiple times! Photo by Getty Images.

Of course "you don't fit the criteria for our wholesome demographic" is not-so-coded-corporate-polite-talk for, "Your status as an HIV-positive gay man makes you a moral and promotional liability and outweighs everything else you've done with your life."

Let's just say that blowout hair and acid-wash jeans weren't the worst things about the 80s.

It's time Wheaties honors Louganis with the cereal box cover he deserves.

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality in June 2015, a petition began circulating to get Wheaties to right their wrong and put Louganis on the box.

Wheaties recently made a special cereal box with the visage of Evan Wolfson, a lawyer, gay rights activist, and founder of Freedom to Marry. There's also Caitlyn Jenner, champion of both the Olympics and transgender rights, who famously graced a Wheaties box decades before she came out as transgender earlier this year.

In the past couple years, General Mills, Wheaties' parent corporation, has come out in support of LGBTQ rights.



Wheaties can't undo the decisions it made in the past, but it can take a few small steps to fix things in the present.

It's not too late to give Louganis the Wheaties box cover he was denied years ago.

Something as simple as a retroactive Wheaties box featuring the face of, say, record-holding champion Olympic diver Greg Louganis would go a long way toward saying, "We've made mistakes, but we have learned the error of our ways. People deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments and talents regardless of what mutually consenting adults do in their bedrooms or what's in their blood."

Humans, as well as corporations, are capable of learning and changing and making the world a better place, together. And, yes, a cereal box cover is one way we can do that.

If you'd like to show your support, go here to sign the petition.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


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