Years ago Wheaties refused this gay Olympian a spot on the cereal box. They can still make it right.

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.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

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