Out Olympian Greg Louganis on Tuesday
was named a Grand Marshal for the 128th Rose Parade.
According to The Mercury News,
Louganis is likely the first openly gay person to be given the honor.
“I hope it inspires people,”
Louganis said, “and that they know they are loved.”
Aaron Saenz, board president of the San
Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center in Arcadia, praised the choice.
“It's really forward thinking,” he
said. “It's adding to the conversation that a respected
Olympian, who also happens to be gay and living with HIV, can receive
such a great honor and is part of the community at large.”
Louganis dominated diving in the early
80s. He came out gay and HIV-positive in his 1995 best-selling
memoir Breaking the Surface. In 2013, he married Johnny
Chaillot, a paralegal at a law firm in Los Angeles.
Recently, General Mills put Louganis on
a box of Wheaties as part of its revamped “legends” series, an
honor he was denied while competing.
Louganis and fellow Olympians Janet
Evans and Allyson Felix will helm the January 2 parade, themed
“Echoes of Success.”