Clover Press has announced plans to publish A Champion's Story: The Life of Greg Louganis, a biographical graphic novel about famed Olympic champion diver and social & LGBTQ activist Greg Louganis. The creative team is being finalized. Louganis will be involved in all stages of the book's continued development and creation. A Champion's Story is set for print and digital release by Clover Press in Winter 2022.
The graphic novel will tell Louganis' life story, from his childhood and early diving career to achieving Olympic greatness and facing many challenges and triumphs in his personal life. He was raised by his adoptive parents, Frances and Peter Louganis. At the age of 9,
he began diving lessons after the family built a swimming pool. He started training with Chuck Ruzicka, his first diving coach. He went on to catch the attention of Dr. Sammy Lee and coach Ron O'Brien and trained for the Olympics, where he won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.
But his story doesn't stop there. Louganis went on to experience many personal and career highs and lows. A Champion's Story recounts them in a compelling graphic novel format, including his life as an adopted bi–racial child in Southern California, his reconnection with his biological family, and his health challenges. Louganis came out publicly as HIV–positive in 1995 and has been a prominent LGBTQ activist. He also has worked frequently with the Human Rights Campaign to defend the civil liberties of the LGBT community and people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
"I'm so excited to bring my story to the graphic novel audience. The team at Clover Press, with such broad experience and success, are the perfect partners. As it was with my diving, I strive to achieve the very best; I know that this collaboration will empower me to do just that, and am already enjoying this journey!"
A Champion's Story fits the desire of Clover Press to create transcendent titles about extraordinary individuals doing extraordinary things to inspire and improve the lives of people around the world. The story is very personal to Matt Ruzicka, President of Clover Press, as he explains, "My father, Chuck Ruzicka, was Greg's first diving coach. He saw the makings of a champion at its infancy. My father followed Greg's career closely throughout his life, and in my household, he embodied the definition of 'Champion.' He was the athlete one had to measure up to."
A Champion's Story will be helmed by Clover Press' Hank Kanalz and Matt Ruzicka. Ruzicka, a former executive at IDW Publishing, along with IDW Publishing co–founders Ted Adams, and Robbie Robbins, each played a key role in bringing to life the bestselling graphic novel biographies of George Takei, "They Called Us Enemy," and "March," about civil rights leader and U.S. congressman, John Lewis.
"We are thrilled to announce A Champion's Story," says Hank Kanalz, Publisher of Clover Press. "The life of Greg Louganis is one of passionate dedication, vision, redemption, and reinvention. He has faced and overcome many personal, athletic, and social challenges to become an icon and inspiration to millions of people."