As the London Olympics approach, there is an excellent article from a former Olympian about the bullying he endured during his path to gold. Greg Louganis is arguably one the best diver of our time. In the late nineties, when the AIDS issue was still a controversal topic, Greg had to face his past again during the olympics. He has shared his personal thoughts of this time in an excellent article in The Huffington Post.
“I almost want to thank all the bullies in my life: the ones who called me “n*gger,” “retard,” “sissy boy,” and “f*ggot”; those who threatened to throw punches at me and took my lunch money at the bus stop; those who actually threw punches at me and rubbed my face in asphalt; my dad, who whipped me with his belt until I did a dive I was too scared to do in my regular practice; the coaches who belittled me and intimidated me into pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable of; and the man who raped me at knifepoint, whom I then stayed with for another six years. They all helped shape me, and without those experiences I could not be the person I am today. I had to learn to “forgive” myself and then find it in my heart to “forgive” them and even bless the light in them, no matter how dim that light was.”
Greg goes on to share more about how he dealt with these times to turn his life around and find that “it does get better”. The article is well worth the read and you can read the rest of it here. I think you will find it inspirational as we head toward this year’s Olympics.