Former US Olympic diver Greg Louganis
Poolside: Greg Louganis will be judging, not diving. Photo: Mick Tsikas

He is a three-time Olympic diver who won gold just months after being diagnosed HIV positive.
A quarter of a century on from what he believed was a ''death sentence'' diagnosis, Greg Louganis is in Australia to be a judge on the reality television show Celebrity Splash.
Louganis, 53, is a passionate advocate for people living with HIV. He has also shared his thoughts on the gay marriage debate in Australia.

''It just seems like it should be a non-issue,'' he said, then jokes: ''All my married friends say, 'yeah they should have the misery of marriage and divorce [as well]'.

''You know what, give it to us.''
Legalising gay marriage would also boost the economy, he said. ''Do you know how much the wedding planners would be making on a gay wedding? Oh my god!''

Louganis won gold at two Olympics - 1984 and 1988 - but the truest test of his courage was dealing with the fallout from his revelation in 1995, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, that he was gay and HIV positive.
''I thought I'd be six feet under by now,'' he said.
''Back in '88 we thought of HIV as a death sentence. To be here 25 years later, I'm doing quite well. To be doing a show about diving, it's amazing.''
It is also 25 years since Louganis was last in Australia, this time for Seven's new reality series, which launches on Monday.

He acknowledges Celebrity Splash will have its risks for the 14 contestants, ranging from Test cricketer Andrew Symonds and comedian Josh Thomas to Denise Drysdale and Brynne Edelsten. There have been injuries on the American version and a death linked to the Chinese show. Louganis would comment only on the US version of the show, in which he was involved as a ''dive master''.

''There's been a lot of focus on injuries … but any sport you do there are certain risks - and diving poses so many different skill sets that you need to be proficient in. It's a lot more challenging than people think.''

On the Australian version of Celebrity Splash, he will be a judge for the first time - alongside Australian Olympians Matthew Mitcham and Alisa Camplin. Louganis admits he is a little hesitant about being critical.
''You know what, I don't like judging,'' he said, with a laugh. ''Hopefully I'll be able to present potential solutions for our celebrities, I'm not into tearing them down and critiquing.''

Louganis struggled with asthma and allergies as a child but was encouraged by his doctor to continue with sport, to improve his health. He is concerned a different approach is being taken today.
''I spent some time in the hospital with pretty severe asthma attacks but my doctor encouraged my mum to keep me active to increase my lung capacity,'' he said.
''Now, doctors say 'you can't do this, you can't do that' … I subscribe to a more holistic approach of support rather than prevention,'' he said.

Louganis described Celebrity Splash as a transformative experience but said viewers needed to keep realistic expectations. ''We are not training Olympians,'' he said.

I have to say I have always been a huge fan of Mr Louganis and he has aged beautifully and is an inspiration to those living with HIV.