Greg Louganis Finally Gets His Wheaties Box

3 decades after his Olympic gold medal wins
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2016 12:21 PM CDT
Greg Louganis Finally Gets His Wheaties Box
This image released by CW3PR shows former Olympic diver Greg Louganis posing with Wheaties cereal next to a commemorative box featuring him on the cover at his home on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Johnny Chaillot/CW3PR via AP)

Greg Louganis is finally on a Wheaties box, three decades after his four Olympic gold medal wins. The diver won gold at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, and though he didn't come out as gay until 1995 (when he also revealed he was HIV-positive), Louganis has argued in the past that rumors of his sexual orientation kept him off Wheaties boxes at the time (a charge Wheaties denies). Now, after a Chicago woman's petition, he's finally getting the honor, the Chicago Tribune reports. Julie Sondgerath started the petition last summer after watching an HBO documentary on Louganis; it eventually got more than 40,000 signatures, and on Tuesday, General Mills announced that Louganis would appear on "Wheaties Legends" boxes, which will be in stores for three to six months starting in May.

Swimmer Janet Evans and track and field star Edwin Moses will also be featured on the boxes, which are intended for athletes who have retired from competition. Sondgerath sent a link to her petition to Louganis right after she started it, and he thanked her, but "I think really he resigned himself to the fact it wasn't going to happen," Sondgerath tells the Tribune. (General Mills says the petition didn't directly impact its decision to feature Louganis.) "Back in '95, I wasn't expected to live very long because we thought of HIV-AIDS as a death sentence," Louganis tells NPR. "So to be here today, now 56, the box means so much more to me than it would have then because I feel like I'm being embraced as a whole person, not just for my athletic achievements." (More uplifting news stories.)

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