Getting Honest with Greg Louganis

Episode Summary

This episode is an exclusive and deeper conversation with Greg Louganis. We delve into details about his early years in training, his HIV diagnosis and how he learned to be his true authentic self.

Episode Notes

This episode is an exclusive and deeper conversation with Greg Louganis. We delve into details about his early years in training, his HIV diagnosis and how he learned to be his true authentic self. Hosted by Molly Bloom. Produced by FilmNation Entertainment in association with Gilded Audio.

Episode Transcription


Molly: On September 19th, 1988, American diver, Greg Louganis made a mistake. It was day three of the summer Olympic games in Seoul, South Korea and Louganis was about to perform his ninth qualifying dive for the finals – a reverse two and a half somersault pike. 

He stepped up to the board and launched himself into the air, his body gracefully flying straight up. But when Louganis began to spin himself, his head slammed into the diamond.

The sound echoed throughout the arena, and there was an audible gasp from the audience as Louganis hit the water. When he eventually resurfaced, Greg was holding his head in his hand. And when he got out of the pool, his white bathing suit was stained with blood. 

Greg Louganis was, and some say still is, the greatest diver to ever live. When he was 16 years old, he competed in his 


first Olympics, and won silver in the 10 meter platform. In 1982, he made history as the first diver ever to be awarded a perfect 10 from all seven judges at the World Aquatic Championships. And he was the first and only man to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in both the platform and springboard events. 

And yet, despite all of these accomplishments, many people still define Louganis by that one dive in 1988. The bump heard around the world. A moment that was at first horrific, then a symbol of perseverance and strength. And finally years later, a point of controversy during a time of mass hysteria.


I'm Molly Bloom, and this is Torched. A show about the heat of competition and what the greatest athletes would lose… to win. 


This season is about controversies and scandals on the biggest world stage: the Olympics. 

Now we've already covered Greg Louganis, his story in a previous episode. But because he's such a fascinating character, we wanted to give you a chance to hear more about him.This episode is an exclusive and raw version of my conversation with Louganis. This unaired tape has details about his early years in training, how he ended up moving on from, and even forgiving, his abusive ex-boyfriend. And more about his HIV diagnosis and how he handled such a difficult time in his life.

Molly: Greg, it's a huge honor, truly to be sitting here virtually with you is just extremely surreal. And I just, you know, I'm super appreciative that you said yes. 

Greg: Sure. Thank you. 

Molly: Okay. Um, so, you know, before we get in to the story, into the


content, um, I noticed on your Instagram that you talk a lot about meditation. 

Greg: Yeah. Meditation has been, been such a huge part of my success, really,

Molly: Yeah, absolutely. I started meditating when I got sober. 

Greg: Yeah.

Molly: And to also manage the interior voice, the critical interior voice.

Greg: How long ago?

Molly: Uh, four years. 

Greg: Congratulations. That's awesome.

Molly: Thanks, Greg. 

Greg: Yeah I’m 13 years sober.

Molly: You are? 

Greg: Yeah.

Molly: Are you like AA 12 steps sober? 

Greg: Um, I, I went through AA, you know, I, I did do that because, uh, that was very key and necessary. I felt, you know, to learn the steps and practice them. Um, I have an incredible sponsor. Who's my yoga instructor. 

Molly: Amazing

Greg: And so, yeah, so that's, that is my sobriety is my yoga practice.

Molly: Got it. So, um, that's another thing that helped me so much in early sobriety is yoga and then a breath 


work practice. Man, do I wish I would have had had these tools early on as a young athlete.

Greg: That high level, you know, uh, competition, all of that, that can also be a bit of an addiction too, you know, because it can be, you know, for me it was a safe place. It was a safe to hide. It's where I could focus my energy and, uh, uh, you know, in, in, uh, you know, a safe, relatively safe.

Molly: Absolutely. So, let's just kind of go back a little bit, um, you know, struggle for you presented, right, right from the get-go, uh, you are born to teenage parents who put you up for adoption. You spent some time in foster care,

Greg: Yeah. 

Molly: And then, um, Francis and Peter Louganis adopted you. Could you talk a little bit about but what that was like when you realized that you were adopted and kind of who Francis and Peter Louganis were.

Greg: I went right into foster care, um, when I was born and then, uh, And at nine months I was adopted by Peter and Francis. They, they were very upfront 


about both my sister and I being adopted. So it wasn't new news. It wasn't like, uh, you know, one of those, oh my God. You know, moments. Um, I just always knew. But, um, kind of the residual that, uh, that came with that was a lot of shame. I also went through a bit of a struggle with, uh, allowing to be loved, , but yeah, I mean, I went through really bad rebellious state. I spent my 13th birthday in juvenile hall. I was just such a, I was, I was, I was. Right. I mean, I was horrible. My poor mom.

Molly: I was too!

Greg: You were too? Um, yeah, we can, we can admit that and then we can make our amends, right. That that's that living amends. We, after I got released from, um, you know, from juvenile hall, then, uh, you know, I had to come right home after school and help mom with the chores. I loved shocking my mom. So I tell her a dirty joke or something like that 


kind of challenge her. And then she come back with the end, even dirtier joke, you know? And she was, you know, she was so cool with all of that. And I realized, oh my God, you know, she loves me unconditionally. And that was an incredible awakening for me. 

Molly: Tell me about your dad, your adopted father? 

Greg: Well, we had a challenging relationship, you know, looking at his history. His, both of his parents died when he was quite [00:06:00] young. So he really didn't have role models to be a parent. So it was, you know, it was new territory for him. And also, I, I don't think either one of my parents were, you know, ready to adopt me, you know, Greg Louganis, you know, that's, that's an awful lot contend with right.

I don't think they were prepared for that. I mean, who can prepare for that? Right. Um, and also, you know, to, to be raising a gay son, you know, you know, but I'm 


really grateful that, uh, I took care of my dad the last six weeks of his life. Um, he died of cancer and so, um, You know that whole year when he was diagnosed with cancer, um, it was a real healing time because that's when I came out to him about my HIV status and then it became a crusade for life and quality of life.

And so we had very meaningful conversations. We were able to heal a lot of old wounds, um, and you know, and, and also. I understand that a lot of what he did was how, the only way that he could express love, you know, because that's all I knew. 

Molly: Uh, it's a little emotional for me. That was, that's just a beautiful story. I had a really tough relationship with my dad too. And there was definitely a moment, um, where we both got very candid and I, and I saw kind of, you know, what you saw, which is this was a young man trying to raise kids, having no 


idea what he was doing. And, and it was, incredibly healing moment. And, and, um, I'm so happy that you got to have that sort of conclusion, you know, um, that experience with him. 

Um, you you got on a diving board pretty young.

Greg: Yeah, I, um, I was in acrobatics and dance when I was a year and a half. I got into gymnastics, which was my first love. Um, I wanted to make the Olympic team in gymnastics. Uh, that was when I was about seven. I started diving when I was about eight, because we had a pool built in our backyard.

And it had a diving board and I started trying some of my gymnastics done stuff, the diving board at home, and my mom said, oh, we're going to get you lessons. I don't want you to kill yourself. So get your lesson. And first day I took my coach, the coach said, oh, will you, will you join the club team? And I'm like, ah, I don't think about it. You know, cause I was doing dance and acrobatics and gymnastics, like what? I'm going to dive into all of this. And it was kind of crazy. 


And then a year later I was world champion from my age group. And then three, three years after that, I was on my first Olympic team. 

Molly: So you are world champion in…

Greg: In Guayaquil. And this is, this is after you know, the Moscow Olympics. I mean, I made that Olympic team and we didn't go.

And so what happened was I were in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Each diver is introduced from what country, their highest, uh, achievement. And Alexander Portnoff was introduced, uh, from the Soviet union. At that time, it was a Soviet union, uh, Olympic gold medalist, 1980. And then I was introduced Greg Louganis, United States, Olympic silver medalist, 1976.

And I just kind of looked over at Alexander and I'm thinking in my head, you're an Olympic gold medalist because I wasn't there.


I was like, okay, I have something to prove here. And so we went through the competition. And, uh, you know, I was the last diver and I came to down to the last dive, you know, I was feeling good. You know, my, my coach, Ron, O'Brien his, his response to me, which was, I knew that everything was going well. He'd just say, keep, just keep doing.

Just keep dancing, keep dancing. I was like, okay, so things are going, going well. And I'm on the three meter springboard and I set the board and they announced my dive and I look at the scoreboard to make sure that the dive number matches the dive. And I see that my score flashing. So I didn't have to do my last dive to win.

I'd already won. And so then that's when I realized that.

Well, I, you know, I deserve to be here on the world stage competing with all of the other countries. 


Molly: Can we break down a dive? you're standing on the top of a three-story building basically.

Greg: Yeah, so, you know, standing 33 feet above. Uh, you're hitting the water at 35 miles per hour, approximately. And basically what, when you're diving from a 10 meter platform, you're just heaving your body into the air, and a dive takes less than three seconds. So you have less than three seconds to do all of these spins and twists and maneuvers.

And then line your body up vertically, you know, to the water. And when you hit the water at that speed, even if you're going straight up and down, it's an isometric stretch. So the impact on your shoulders and wrists know is, is 


pretty intense.You're breaking the surface of the water with your hands.

So you break the surface. What you're doing is you're creating a bubble and then you want to get your body into that bubble before it closes up. And that's how you get in without a splash. 

Molly: Wow. 

Greg: Um, and then you feel you fall into that bubble and then you feel the water kind of close up around you. And when you enter the water, it's like silence. it's just this peaceful, serene silence. 

Molly: Something that occurred to me when I was doing all this research is fear has to be a big part of this sport. Um, I mean, the reverse triple.

Greg: Reverse three and a half. 

Molly: When you first started competing that it was just like you and one other person and that other, that other diver performed at and, and died, right. Performing it he hit his head. 

Greg: Yeah. When we were at the


world university games, um, surrogate, shallow, shallow wash feely. He was doing reverse three and a half and he did hit his head on the, on the platform. And he was in a coma and then a week, um, I think less than a week later he passed.

Um, and so, uh, and we were the only two divers doing that, dive at that, at that time. Right. So that was really challenging for me because I felt, I felt responsible, you know, because I felt like I was pushing these. Yeah. I felt I was pushing these kids to do these more difficult dives to be able to compete with me.

And so what I did is I got a videotape of the, uh, that dive and I played it over and over and over again. because I wanted to understand what he did wrong to make sure that I felt like it was my responsibility to never allow that to happen to me. 

Molly: So many people, when they feel fear, they want to run, but instead you just go right 


into it. I mean, you, you analyzed all the tapes and you figured out how you could empower yourself and, and, you know, I find that really fascinating and would love to hear a little bit more about that intimacy with fear and walking through it like that. 

Greg: Well, fear is a part of life. And here's a part of life. I mean, we're walking through, um, you know, challenges all the time.

You know, we may not recognize it. You know, it may, we,may not celebrate. Those little moments, which we should, you know, because that is stepping through fear, and also fear is, uh, excitement minus the breath. So if you add death, if you add breath to that fear, it transforms into excitement. You know, uh, elevated awareness, right.

So then it's like, oh, okay. And then, and then 


you walk through that and how you walk through that is with your breath.  

Molly: Ok So, um, you started dating this guy. His name was Jim, right? He was your boyfriend.He became your manager from what I've read he sounds.

Greg: He was disturbed.

Molly: And he wasn't very kind to you. A lot of times. And you were with him for quite a while, right? 

Greg: Yeah. Yeah.I think six years. And also, I, I also recognize my part in it too, you know, at that time, I didn't want to have to be responsible, you know, so I gave my, my control to somebody else, you know?

Because then I didn't have to take responsibility. It wasn't my fault. So, um, yeah, so I recognize that now. And yeah, it was, uh, it was abusive. Um, he raped me in the first 


year that we were, uh, being each other and I stayed, you know, I chose to stay. 

Molly: Have you forgiven him? 

Greg: Yeah. I mean, because, because, you know, my forgiveness is for me.

Yeah. You know, when we forgive somebody, it's not for the other person as for our own peace of mind, you have to get to that place of forgiveness, um, in order, you know, to, to really thrive. 

Molly: So powerful.

Greg: He was diagnosed when we were together.

I was having some issues with my ear and I went into the doctor and I said, oh, I want to do an HIV test anonymously.

And so, um, he, he did that because I wanted to make sure that I was in, um, you know, In good health to get through the Olympic trials and, and all of that, because at that time in 88, we thought HIV aids was a death


sentence. You know it’s like get your affairs in order and all that.  Jim and I both got our, our diagnosis. He was having a difficult time breathing as it turned out.

He had pneumocystis, pneumonia. And so, um, he was diagnosed with a, with a. And, um, and then I was diagnosed, um, HIV positive and actually a lot of people like to blame Jim for my HIV status, but I don't, I don't blame him at all because my, um, my partner before Jim, he passed away of HIV aids.

So that's as are, I was probably. Yeah. I was probably positive before Jim and I got together. Um, you know, but you know, I, so that I don't blame. I there's no blame. There's no blame. It just is. 

Molly: So it's six months before the 88 


Olympics, you get this diagnosis. What made you decide to compete ?

Greg: In 88? My, um, uh, my cousin, my doctor, he said, you know, we don't know how long you've been, uh, HIV positive.

You know, you've been training for the Olympics and training would be the healthiest thing for you. And so, you know, so that's when, and it, it was so much easier to focus on the diving, which I understood, and it gave me a positive focus. 

Molly: Mmhm. who'd you tell?

Greg: Uh, the only ones that there weren't many people who knew, um, I didn't even want to tell my coach run up Brian, because I was afraid the Chinese had caught up to me by that time.

And. And so I, I, I knew I had to be in the best shape that I possibly could be. Um, I knew that I was holding on by the skin of my teeth then, so I didn't want him taking it easy on me. You know, thinking that, oh, 


you're compromised. You have a compromised immune systems. So maybe I might go easy on him. 

Molly: And what did Ron say?

Greg: He turned to me and said, Greg, I'm not gonna let you off the hook that easy we'll get through this together. Um, because also too, I mean, we were going to Seoul, Korea.

And so. You know, if my HIV status had been, no, I wouldn't have been allowed into the country. 

Molly: Right. During that time, one in seven. People thought that people with HIV should be tattooed and 51% thought that they should be in quarantine just to give some context of how crazy the world was at tyou're in Korea, you get up to take your first dive did you know, like right from the get-go that you were off.

Greg: As I was taking off the board on my reverse two and a half pike, I knew 


I was, I stood it up a little straight. And so I knew I was going to be close to the board. But usually when you do something like that, you have to worry about hitting your hands or your, you know, it's your hands or arms. That's going to hit the board.

And I thought I was well past the board. And then I heard this big hollow thud. And I was like, well, is that, and I go crashing in the water and then I crashing into water. I was like, shit, that was my head. And so like my first emotion was, I was embarrassed. I was thinking, oh my God, Yeah.

I mean, I was embarrassed, you know, I was like, okay. Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed. I'm supposed to be a pretty good diver. And I go and hit my head board and I'm thinking, how can I get out of this pool without anybody seeing me and the entire world's watching. Right.

Nope. That's, that's not


happening. And so, um, I, I, I was so confused. I didn't want anybody touching it cause I was afraid if I'm bleeding. I didn't know if I was. Um, you know, I just didn't want anybody touching, you know, the blood. And so, um, you know, so then I made my way over to my coach on a Brian and, um, you know, he pulled me into a side room and he said, you know, he asked me, what do you want to do?

And I S you know, I'm out of the competition. I thought I was out of the competition because I did see some zeros. I mean, I didn't fail the dive, but you know, I, I did get a few zeros because the judges couldn't watch, they were turning away and they didn't see the diet. Um, and so, um, you know, I thought it was totally out of the competition and, um, you know, he came back and he said, no, you're, you know, you're in there.

Yeah. And he said, but you have to complete complete your 


last two dives. And so that's when I kind of turned to him kind of a knee jerk response. And I said, Ron, we've worked too long and hard to get here. And I don't want to give up without a fight. I said, okay. So doctor came in, sewed me up, um, Dr. James puffer and Dr. Ben. Yeah. So then, uh, you know, uh, Ron said, um, once we decided I was, you know, I was going to continue, I had two more dives. I said, okay, come on, let's take a walk. And so Ron was. He was so funny, you know, he was like, okay, you know, hockey players, they get 30 stitches and get back on the ice, you got five, there had nothing, you know, and we were just laughing, you know, and then, um, you know, we were just kind of, kind of joking around and then.

You know, the other thing is, you know, um, I think there's a little blood in my bathing suit and there was another pool I said, you know, jump in the pool, get the blood out of my,


it was a white bathing suit. You know, you know, in, in a moment like that you do something like that. It just totally blows out your conference. Yeah, my mom was kind of on the negative range and, um, and Ron, O'Brien, he, he said, look, I know you don't believe in yourself, but believe in me because I believe in you so that I, I, I could put that trust and faith in him and trust that.

That love and respect that I had for him to get on that on diving board. And I remember, um, I set the fulcrum, they announced the dive, Greg Louganis, United States reverse one and a half or three and a half twists. And I could hear a 


gasp from the audience because they knew I was going in the same direction.

And so I heard this audible gasp and I took a deep breath and bad in my chest. Like my heart was beating outside my chest. And then the people who started that chuckle, they were like, you know, the girl, oh my God, he's afraid too. I was thinking, oh God. And I started laughing. And I was like, oh my God, they're afraid for me.

I'm afraid for me. And it was. Yeah. That's why was like, oh my God. And then I realized, oh, these people want to see me succeed. And, and, and then I just had to let that go. And it's like, okay, you know what, it'll be, what it'll be. I, it was the Olympics. I could hold back, you know, I had to go for it. And so that's what I did.

And it was just like, kind of a surrender moment, you know, it was like, you know, whatever happens is going to happen. And I did the. 


And, um, and it was funny. It was the highest scoring dive of the Olympics. And then I go to my coach and, you know, he he's, he said, he said, nice dive. And then he hits me on the shoulder and said, it's too close.

I'm like, oh. So then on my last dive is reversed three and a half tuck, which is my most difficult reverse, and it's still going in the same direction. He said, jump it out. And it's like, okay, I'm jumping it out. 

Molly: When, when you and Ron hugged each other after that dive, I mean, I just, I still watch it and cry. It's just so powerful knowing what the two of you have been through and how much he had your back.

Greg: just. And that was my last, I was 

Molly: That was your last dive. So you retire after that dive you're the best diver to ever live. Are, are, are you beloved, are 


you embraced in the diving community? Do you have endorsements? I mean, what, what does that picture look like?

Greg: Um, it's weird, you know, and you know, jealousy is a strange thing. It is jealous the really, really strange things. So, yeah. Was I embraced by us diving? No, no, no. I mean, I think they were, um, happy to see me go. I, and, and probably regret that I had as many records as I have. I've had, you know, um, so it's, yeah, it's, it's a strange thing.

They weren't, they weren't kind to myself or then they weren't kind to my coach, Ron or Brian. 

Molly: Was there a comedown? Was there a grief period? 

Greg: It was a whole lot of mixture of different thing. You know, I retired from my sport. Rich, you know, when you retire from a sport, if you're an elite athlete, you know, it's, uh, you know, it's like the loss of a part of yourself. 


Yeah, but I also was, uh, getting untangled from, uh, from an abusive relationship.

So, uh, that was going on. and then my father diagnosed with cancer and so, you know, it, it was, it was a lot of things. So, you know, I didn't have, um, I don't think I had the typical grieving process for my sport, because it was kind of a mixture of all these other different things that I needed to take care of.

Molly: That makes sense. So you ha you had come out to your family at this point, um, and to your close friends, but you hadn't come out to the world. 

Greg: Right. I came out to, um, I came out to my mom in 83. I was 23. it was a breakup from, you know, from an ex, we w that that relationship was like one of those young relationships 


that you have.

It's very passionate. It's like, it's like, you know, fireworks or we're throwing, throwing things at each other, you know, it was easy when we finally broke up, it was, I, my mom helped me gather up my things and, uh, and then I turned her and said, you know, mom, Kevin and I were more than just roommate. We were lovers.

And she goes, I know son what's for dinner.

Aren't you going to, you know, like throw something, you know, get it because I thought if my parents knew that I was gay, oh my God, the earth was going to open up and swallow me whole. Yeah. 

Molly: So you could have just gone away then known as till this day, the best diver in the world, you know, revered, respected.

And an international heartthrob, but you decided to, to come out not only about, um, you know, not only about


the fact that you're gay, but the fact that you are HIV positive in was that in 95? 

Greg: Um, that was in 95. Okay. you know, going through the detangler meant with. Um, you know, cause he was threatening to, you know, make my HIV status, you know, holding that over my head.

Um, yeah. So the thought was that came to mind was the truth shall set you free, and then he passed in 90, I think it was 19. So just a couple of years, you know, he, he passed and then my dad passed in 91. And so then, um, it was in 93, 93. Um, I was cast in Jeff.

The play Jeffrey in New York. And I played Darious who was, um, out gay pride marches and out and proud and on TV and 


in the plate. And then, um, and he also dies of complications with aids. So night after night. I'm playing this character able to live out my fantasies, but also face my fears, you know? Cause each night I, you know, March in a parade in each night, I die.

And, but, but I, but I felt that Derrius, his, his spirit comes back and I think. Delivered the most poignant message to delete character Jeffrey. It's when he turns to Jeffrey as his spirit saying Jeffrey hate aids, not life. And so that is something that I really took to heart. And so night after night, I went to a friend of mine.

When I was almost 


through with the, with the rent or maybe halfway through the run of, um, my, my involvement with Jeffrey in New York. Um, I said, uh, you know, I, I want to write a book.

I felt at that time I felt like I was living on an island. With barely a phone for communication to the outside world, because that's what  secrets do to you.

They isolate, they keep you apart from everybody. And so I felt that if I'm going through this, I'm not the only person that's HIV positive living with this secret. I'm sure that other people are out there. They just are terrified. Like I was. 

Molly: Yeah, but this was a tremendous risk. I mean, we were not a society that was yet to favorable, uh, in, in approaching, you know, both, 


uh, HIV and being out. I mean, this was, uh, a huge risk, especially because you are going to have to confront this, you know, this information that you have. HIV and blood in the pool and all these different things. And we're a society. It just driven by fear around this thing. I mean, what did you think was going to happen? What did you think the outcome would be? 

Greg: I didn't know what the outcome would be. I didn't, you know, I felt like, um, you know, I had to get right with, with, with all the, with all the right people. Right. I came out to my mother about my HIV status on my 33rd birthday, because I thought I was saying goodbye to everybody because I was losing weight.

I thought it was wasting and we couldn't figure out what was going on. So I thought I was saying goodbye to everybody. And, um, and then we found out that I had a fungal infection in my colon and got the right medications to take care of that and I was going to 


live. And so before the book came out and I was, uh, you know, the book was coming out in 95.

So, uh, I, and I knew what was going to be in the book. In 94. So I reached out to Dr. James Puffer, um, and asked him, you know, I told him about my HIV status, you know, at that time so that he could get tested. Um, I didn't, I hadn't realized that, uh, Dr. Ben Rubin had been there. When my head was being sewn up, I'm like face down and, and I didn't know who was messing with the top of my head, but, um, Dr. Ben Rubin, I didn't realize that he was there, but I, but I did know Jim was there. And so I reached out to Jim to make sure he was okay. And he got tested and everything was good. So I was good with the people that I felt it was important. Right. So that whatever happened beyond. I had absolutely no control,  I, I felt like I was sharing my weaknesses, 


you know, my sexual identity, my, you know, getting out of the abusive relationship, my HIV status, you know, all of these things that I, I perceived as weak.

Um, what I realized on the book too. Is when I was on book tour in thousands of people are showing up, you know, to share their stories with me to, you know, just, I realized that by sharing my perceived weaknesses, I was actually sharing my strength. No question. My coauthor, Eric Marcus and I were on, on the tour.

And I mean, we were. And every fifth person who come through you came through the line. I mean, we would be in tears because they share a story. Oh my God. You know, but it's, it's so fascinating because in the tears, there's so much healing. Um, 

Molly: Did you finally


feel at peace after, after this book tour and after?

Um, getting honest and, and being able to. Be yourself. I mean, did that, did that give you peace inside? 

Greg: Yes, definitely. Because then it was a layer of, of who I was that I didn't have to hide anymore. 

Molly: I mean, so huge. I do. Um, Greg, I could talk to you for like 10 hours. I've I've so enjoyed researching your life. And I just, at every turn, I've just been amazed. You are such a powerhouse and, and. So kind, and, and I just I'm, I'm so overly grateful that, that I got the opportunity to do this with you.

Greg: Well, thank you. Thank you so much.

Molly: And there you have it, an extended version of my conversation with five time 


Olympic medalist, Greg Louganis. 

We live in a time where we're largely expected as human beings to not make mistakes. And this is a very unsustainable perspective. We are human beings and I think we're here to grow. And I think Greg is a beautiful example of that.

Torched is a production of Film Nation entertainment in association with Gilded Audio. It's executive produced by me, Molly Bloom, Alyssa Martino, Milan Popelka, Andy Chugg and Whitney Donaldson. This episode was produced by Jenner Pasqua and Marcy Thompson with support from Mike Quigley and Ben Brandstein, original music by James Lavino.

Special thanks to Alison Cohen, Sarah Vacchiano, Matt Aizenstadt and Omar Tarbush.

Next time on Torched. You may remember hammer thrower, Gwen Berry from a few episodes ago, we 


talked about how the Olympic committee put her on probation for raising her fist during the star Spangled banner. We'll share my extended conversation with Gwen about activism, motherhood, and what it means to her to be a black woman and an athlete in the United States.

Gwen: It's just like, it doesn't matter how good somebody is, how much somebody works hard to get to where they're supposed to be. There's always people who think that because of how somebody looks or how somebody fits into society, that they should be the one to be there. And not you. 

Molly: That’s next time, on Torched. Thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, follow, subscribe, and leave us a review. See you next time.