Greg Louganis, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and LGBT advocate, is finally getting the iconic Wheaties box he deserves. Alongside swimmer Janet Evans and hurdler Edwin Moses, the three athletes will be featured as part of Wheaties' Legends series.
Many believe General Mills' change of heart came after a petition of more than 41,000 people was submitted to the company's Minneapolis office. The outpouring support for Louganis immediately followed the HBO documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis, which highlighted his athletic accomplishments and his overlooked status. The portrayal informed audiences of Louganis' LGBT advocacy, his HIV diagnosis at the height of his diving career, and his historic dominance in the world of competitive diving.
According to The New York Times, Louganis has said that homophobia was most likely the reason Wheaties didn't use his image following the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. But at this point in his life, the married diver can appreciate this success:
"This means so much more than it would have back then. Getting it now means people will see me as a whole person—a flawed person who is gay, HIV-positive, with all the other things I’ve been through.”
General Mills' official announcement didn't mention the petition, but focused on how these three accomplished Olympic champions deserved another moment in the spotlight. Jenna Lynch, senior associate marketing manager at Wheaties said, “This is an opportunity for Wheaties to highlight past champions who haven’t yet received the honor of being on a Wheaties box for their past athletic achievements. Janet, Greg, and Edwin are all world-class athletes both for the medals they won, and everything they accomplished during their careers.”
The Wheaties boxes featuring Louganis, Evans, and Moses will be released next month.