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Monday, September 17, 2001
Louganis wins gold despite hitting board

By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com

Sept. 19, 1988

Greg Louganis does the unthinkable in attempting to defend his three-meter springboard Olympic title. In the preliminary round, he hits his head on the board while performing his ninth of 11 dives, a reverse 2 somersault pike. He receives temporary sutures to close the gash in his scalp. "I didn't realize I was that close to the board," Louganis says later. "When I hit it, it was kind of a shock. But I think my pride was hurt more than anything else."

Thirty-five minutes after the mishap, Louganis is back on the board and finishes qualifying for the final. He goes to a hospital, where the sutures are replaced by five stitches. The next day, he will win easily, scoring 730.80 points -- Tan Liangde of China will finish second with 704.88 points -- to become the first diver to win the three-meter springboard in consecutive Olympics.