Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 19, 1988
Date Finished: September 20, 1988
Format: 3 metre springboard.
After eight dives in the preliminaries defending champion Greg Louganis led China’s Tan Liangde, the 1984 silver medalist, although it was close. Louganis’s ninth dive was a reverse 2½ pike and as he exited the pike into layout, preparing for the entry, he struck his head on the springboard. He collapsed into the water, earned only a total score of 6.30 for the dive, dropping him back to fifth place, and it was not certain he could continue. Before the 10th dive he received several stitches from US team doctor James Puffer. He came back on dive 10, a reverse 2½ with 3½ twists, and received scores between 8.0 and 9.5. He moved up further on the final dive, placing third in qualifying, with Tan placing first. Tan had played Alydar to Louganis’s Affirmed over the years, but he had beaten him twice earlier in 1988 and was looking for gold in Seoul.
But it was not to be. Louganis led most of the finals, except after the fourth dive, when he briefly dropped behind with a poor dive. But he regained the lead after round five, and held it for the gold medal, winning by almost 26 points. His ninth dive was a reprise of his reverse 2½ pike which he performed well, scoring 8.5s from all judges. Tan had to settle for a silver medal repeat, and in 1992 he would three-peat with a third silver on springboard. Tan also won silver on springboard at the 1986 and 1991 World Championships, having the poor timing to compete in the same era as Greg Louganis.
More drama occurred over the next few years. In 1995, Louganis came out as gay, which had been suspected, and also revealed that he was HIV-positive, and had been so at the time of the Seoul Olympics. Only a few people knew this at the time, including his coach, Ron O’Brien, but Dr. James Puffer did not. Louganis had been concerned that his head injury in Seoul had possibly contaminated the water and risked infecting other divers, although the dilution by the water, and the chlorine in the water, obviated that possibility. Both O’Brien and Puffer tested negative for HIV.
A few days later, Louganis would win the platform gold medal, completing the diving double-double, to replicate the feat of Pat McCormick from 1952-56.
|1||Greg Louganis||28||United States||USA||Gold|
|4||Albin Killat||27||West Germany||FRG|
|5||Mark Bradshaw||26||United States||USA|
|10||Aleksandr Portnov||27||Soviet Union||URS|
|12||Valery Goncharov||22||Soviet Union||URS|
|13 QR||Massimo Castellani||26||Italy||ITA|
|14 QR||Joakim Andersson||17||Sweden||SWE|
|15 QR||Tom Lemaire||28||Belgium||BEL|
|16 QR||Piero Italiani||26||Italy||ITA|
|17 QR||Larry Flewwelling||23||Canada||CAN|
|18 QR||Isao Yamagishi||22||Japan||JPN|
|19 QR||Erich Pils||22||Austria||AUT|
|20 QR||David Bédard||22||Canada||CAN|
|21 QR||Willi Meyer||23||West Germany||FRG|
|22 QR||Juha Ovaskainen||26||Finland||FIN|
|23 QR||Graeme Banks||19||Australia||AUS|
|24 QR||Jérôme Nalliod||22||France||FRA|
|25 QR||José Miguel Gil||17||Spain||ESP|
|26 QR||Graham Morris||24||Great Britain||GBR|
|27 QR||Tomasz Rossa||21||Poland||POL|
|28 QR||Russell Butler||20||Australia||AUS|
|29 QR||Bob Morgan||21||Great Britain||GBR|
|30 QR||Abraham Suárez||20||Ecuador||ECU|
|31 QR||Majed Al-Taqi||18||Kuwait||KUW|
|32 QR||Lee Seon-Gi||23||South Korea||KOR|
|33 QR||Christopher Honey||26||Barbados||BAR|
|34 QR||Tang Kei Shan||26||Hong Kong||HKG|
|35 QR||Wong Kin Chung||23||Hong Kong||HKG|