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Breaking the Surface Paperback – March 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Greg Louganis won back-to-back double gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, and his amazing physique and handsome face should have made him a media superstar. Yet Louganis's struggles with self-doubt lack of confidence held him back personally and professionally. He only achieved real happiness after coming out as an HIV-positive gay man. This is a thoughtful, sensitive portrait of a man whose insecurities nearly destroyed him, but who found the love and inner strength to save himself. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Four-time Olympic diving champion Louganis's memoir, acknowledging that he had tested HIV-positive several months prior to the 1988 Olympics, was a PW bestseller for nine weeks.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402206666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402206665
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Greg has written a book that is touching the hearts of so many people. As a young college student, I myself have had to overcome my sexuality and my HIV status. I finally met Greg on February 15th at the University of Miami, and it reinforced the idea of what a wonderful person he is. Greg's book is definitely one in a million. It's a must read for gays and straights, and people who are HIV positive and negative. His strength is capable of helping all of us live a more productive life... and to be happy with ourselves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book only months after I came out. It helped a lot. This book helped me see many sides of the gay community and how difficult it can be for anyone to come out of the closet.
I also used this book to help my parents understand why I feel the need to come out. They didn't want me to tell many people, they wanted me to keep it under wraps. I read a few passages from this book to help them understand why I can't continue to hide. They didn't understand at that moment, but over time they have grown to understand the pain that I and many other gay people feel when they have to remain in the closet.
I am very grateful that I bought this book. It helped me find a new, higher lever of self-esteem that I never thought I could have before. Also, it has helped my family be more comfortable with my being gay.
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Format: Paperback
The reason that I first read this book was that I wanted to read a book written by a gay author. I knew nothing about Greg Louganis or the fact that he smacked his head during the Olympics. All I knew was that he was gay and was a swimmer. I checked it out from the library and ended up reading it in two days, which is a record for me because I procrastinate.

Greg and Eric put together Greg's story very well, never once causing me to wonder what was going on. From the very beginning I was amused by Greg's thoughts and concerned although he was talking about something that had happened over a decade ago (seven years ago when the book was written). Greg did not tell his story from a casual perspective. He was upfront with his emotions and I felt like I really got to know who this guy was and I came to care a great deal about him.

Greg Louganis is the sort of person that should be admired and respected not only for his athletic and acting (let's just think about Jeffrey here...) accomplishments but for his strength and courage. For someone who used to have such a distorted self-perception he grew into a rather wise and very beautiful man. He tells his life story with such compassion, humour, and care that it's difficult to believe he used to think so poorly of himself.

This man is one of my role models and I highly suggest that anyone and everyone read this book.
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By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I remember watching Greg Louganis in 1988 and his last dive that gave him his fourth Olympic gold medal. I was only 7 years old and had no idea about what a struggle he had. When I found out that he was HIV-positive and gay, I was shocked. I don't know why. I read the book during my junior year in high school and enjoyed it. The information on diving was informative and I enjoyed that part. The part that surprised me the most was the way he talked openly and frankly about his lovers and his feelings for them. It was the first time I had ever read anything like that and it shocked me but then I got used to it. Sure, I've seen "Philadelphia" and the dancing scene but I always figured that they're actors and it was part of their jobs to do stuff like that. Call me naive; I was. But this, the things in the book, happened to a real person, one who is a vivid part of my childhood memories. In many parts, I was crying, trying to picture what Greg's life must have been like all those years and how it hurt him-all the teasing, taunts, rumors and other things he must have endured. I think he has a lot of courage to come out and write this book; to me it shows a person who is confident of where he is now in life and wants others to accept him for who he is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Greg Louganis captured our hearts, minds and the spirit of the American dream in his quest for Olympic Gold. Over his many years in competition no one knew the anguish he suffered stemming from years of self doubt and recrimination. Diving became his way of expression. His quest for perfection, born from the burning desire to shout out to the world that he was never less than his fellows, was riddled with self loathing for the secrets he held so close. Each time he towered high above us on the boards or the platform he had the ability to block out all else but the dive he was about to attempt. He was never less than poetry in motion. He seemed perfect in every way. Understated and humble, this very handsome, extraordinarily built and sculpted figure of a young man thrilled us every moment he was in our sights and we cheered him, urged him and all but willed him to greatness. Such was our love of him and such was our awe of his abilities. There came a day, as it comes for all athletes, when the Olympic competition we were watching would be his last. It was 1988 and as he prepared for the preliminary dive and jettisoned himself from that board, we heard the dreadful sound that would shake the Olympic world to its very foundations and would cut Greg Louganis open to his very core. The wound to his head was not a large one in size but the scope of that injury would cause his life to begin to unravel as the eyes of the world were upon him. We breathed a sigh of relief when we were informed that he was sufficiently recovered to continue the competition. His scores plummeted as a result of that terrible encounter with the board but at least he survived it. No one expected him to win the competition and it would be the last time we would ever watch him compete.Read more ›
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