Wheaties Pre-ESPY Award Breakfast Review - With Guest of Honor Greg Louganis

This past warm Wednesday morning, Wheaties showed reverence for the sports icon, Greg Louganis by hosting a pre-ESPY award breakfast in his honor at a Spanish style home. An eclectic group of sports icons, actors and celebrities gathered together in the elite and quaint Carthay district in Los Angeles to celebrate the legacy of Louganis as a legendary Olympic diver, LGBT activist, trailblazer and sports icon.


Greg Louganis imitating his Wheaties box pose

Louganis graces the front of his very own, and highly coveted, Wheaties box after gaining 43,000 signatures from fans and supporters after the debut of his HBO documentary: Greg Louganis: Back on Board.  General Mills, had once claimed that Louganis did not meet their ‘wholesome demographics’, despite his many athletic accomplishments, and therefore gracing the cover of his own Wheaties box means that much more to him.  Louganis told guests, “it means everything to me that I am being celebrated for who I truly am”.


Portrait of Greg Louganis' Wheaties Box

Not only did the event celebrate Louganis and his accomplishments, but it revealed itself as an opportunity to place a spotlight on the way in which both the LGBT and disabled communities are addressed in the sports industry.  Both Allysa Seely and Chris Mosier were in attendance, and have had the opportunity to express what it means to them to be a part of the sports industry and these communities concurrently.  Seely told ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, in which she was featured that she thinks “as a society…, we still view individuals with different abilities as being incapable.  We still see the disability before we see the individual”.  Seely is the 2015 paratriathlete world champion, and will be competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio for the Paralympics.  Chris Mosier is a member of the US national triathlon team - his event being the sprint duathlon - and is the first transgendered athlete to qualify for any US National team.  On what it means to him to be a trailblazer in his own right, he told ESPN as well that “"I want to be the person I needed 15 years ago.”


L-R: Chris Mosier, Greg Louganis, Allysa Seely


Fittingly taking place on ESPY award morning and to honor Louganis’ 40th anniversary of his first Olympic win, the diverse group of guests included Natasia Liukin (Olympic Champion/ Dancing With the Stars), Allysa Seely (2016 ESPN The Magazine Body Issue athlete and 2015 paratriathlete world champion), Chris Mosier (2016 ESPN the Magazine Body Issue athlete and transgender triathlete), Bryan Batt (Mad Men) Brandi Maxiel (VH1’s Basketball Wives) and Saleemah E. Knight (Dance Choreographer).  


Greg Louganis, Husband Johnny Chaillot and actor Bryan Batt (Mad Men)


Guests in attendance were able to enjoy an iconic bowl of Wheaties, adorned by fresh bananas, strawberries and blueberries.  Most significantly about the event, guests were able to take pictures with a larger than life, autographed version of Louganis’ Wheaties box, which was later auctioned to benefit non-profit organizations: Crossing the Line and the Point Foundation.  Crossing the Line helps to transition retired athletes to the next phase of their lives while providing them with a support network, and the Point Foundation raises scholarship funds and provides LGBT youth with an opportunity to showcase their unique talents, passions and experiences.  


Wheaties Breakfast Spread



Greg Louganis and Saleemah E. Knight with the 'larger than life' autographed Wheaties Box


Photo credit: Courtesy of Wheaties

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