By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
EL NIDO, PALAWAN — One of the of the more accomplished athletes in the history of the Olympic Games, four-time diving gold medallist Greg Louganis surely knows how to achieve success, which he describes as setting the right goals for yourself and going for them.
Part of the recently held Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series first leg here as sports director, American Louganis, 59, shared that what he did in the three Olympics he was part of — 1976, and 1984 and 1988 — was a product of steadily improving himself and a commitment to training and hard work.
In ’76 in Montreal he won silver in the 10m platform and in the ’84 and ’88 Olympics in Los Angeles and Seoul, respectively, he won gold medals in both the 10m platform and 3m springboard.
“You know what, so many times we are caught up in making the Olympic team, making the Olympic team, making the Olympic team. I was mentoring as part of the preparation of the US dive team for the London Olympics and in Rio, and I asked the kids, ‘What is your ultimate diving goal? And they said, ‘Making the Olympic team.’ And after that? ‘Making the Olympic team.’ And I said, ‘Don’t you want to win and be at the podium? Why stop at just one thing,” said Mr. Louganis.
“Once you achieve one goal you should look forward to the next goal. But to reach the next goal you have to prepare. Sometimes you are successful in it, sometimes you are not. But if you don’t practice it you’re lost. Make it a habit and trust your training. It goes for all sports, across the board, and life in general,” he added.
HIGH ON CLIFF DIVING
While he admitted not having given cliff diving a go so far, Mr. Louganis said he is very high on it and sees it eventually being part of the Olympics.
“The growth and evolution of cliff diving has been amazing. I also did commentating for Acapulco cliff diving. More of the divers now have great mechanics. Pointing toes, legs together, it captures the beauty of the sport. I see this making the Olympics eventually. Hopefully in 2028 in Los Angeles,” he said.
Mr. Louganis went on to say that it helps the sport that brands like Red Bull are rallying behind it, promoting cliff diving and encouraging people to take it up be they athletes themselves or just spectators.
“Red Bull has been at the forefront for exploring ultimate sports, cliff diving is like one of the oldest ultimate sports. It’s wonderful and I hope others follow them and other potential sponsors come in to be part of this. It is a wonderful thing. Cliff diving is so visual. It’s beautiful to watch and see the divers execute these difficult dives,” Mr. Louganis said.
After the Philippines, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series moves to Dublin, Ireland, on May 12; Polignano a Mare, Italy (June 2); Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal (June 22); Beirut, Lebanon (July 14); Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Aug. 24); and Bilbao, Spain (Sept. 14).