• U.S.

Platform-Diving: Final Frames Of the Olympic Games

1 minute read
Lee Griggs, Kumiko Makihara and Ellie Mcgrath/Seoul

Onlookers at the men’s platform-diving final knew what should happen. But would it? The days are gone when Greg Louganis competed one notch above everyone else. He had taught the world to dive at his level, and now teenagers from the Soviet Union, East Germany and especially China threatened to beat him. At 28, Louganis is a superbly fit adult male; his imitators tend to look like underclassmen at a military school. But after nine dives he was 3 points behind Xiong Ni of China, young-looking even for his 14 years. Xiong’s tenth and last dive was near perfect. Louganis, following him, somehow found the grace and courage to be a shade better in a harder dive, a flashing reverse 3 1/2 somersault. The win gave him both diving golds, to go with the two he won at Los Angeles. Xiong took the silver, and compact, precise Jesus Mena of Mexico the bronze. Once out of the pool, Greg shed tears and threw his arms around coach Ron O’Brien, who called it the “greatest dive of his career.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com