Breaking The Surface
He's one of this century's sporting superstars: high diver Greg Louganis, five times world champion and winner of four Olympic golds and forty-seven major titles - more than any other diver in history.
This compelling drama charts both the blessing and tragedies which drove this extraordinary athlete to sporting glory - and his battle to win acceptance by a society prejudiced against his sexuality. For Louganis had a secret which he had long kept concealed: he was gay and HIV positive. But despite overwhelming stresses - including a serious injury sustained in front of millions of TV viewers at the 1988 Olympics - Greg found the strength to refuse to live in fear any longer. This is his awe-inspiring story. Mario Lopez plays Louganis.
It's hard to be objective about this movie for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I fell in love with Greg Louganis while watching him dive in the 1988 Olympics. He was for me, the ultimate athlete, pure poetry in motion. I had, and still have, a great deal of admiration for his outstanding talent.
Secondly, having read his biography, 'Breaking The Surface', before seeing the film, I knew what had happened behind the scenes of his triumphs all those years, and felt even more in awe of the man's talent. He comes over in his book as a deeply flawed human being, with a talent that he barely knows how to control, and that, among many other things, is the reason he found life so demanding.
That said, I still enjoyed this movie immensely. Mario Lopez does a fine job as Greg, and my only gripe is that they didn't allow the film company to truly show the extremes of what happened to Greg Louganis all those years. So, if I have any complaints, it's that the film is slightly clinical and skims over the really deeply emotional areas that could have made such a riveting and intense movie.
My suggestion is that, before watching the movie, you read the book. It'll break your heart, but it's more than worth the time!