The 10 celebrities looking to belly-flop their way to a win on the new ABC reality competition show "Splash" bring little or no diving experience to the pool.
They won't have to take a long walk off a 10-meter stand on their own. They get to pick the brain of one of the most notable divers in American swim history: Multiple Olympic medal winner Greg Louganis is their mentor.
"The call me the 'Dive Master.' It's a very Yoda, Zen position," says Louganis during an ABC party in Pasadena. "It'll be my job to guide them through all of their performances."
The celebrities counting on Louganis are:
Each of their dives will be judged by London Olympic U.S. Gold medalist David Boudia and Australian Olympic athlete and USA Dive Team director Steve Foley.
Louganis isn't kidding when he talks about the Zen nature of his role.
"It's almost like diving becomes a metaphor for facing your fears, facing your challenges. It's more about the journey. It's not so much about the technique," Louganis says. "It's a matter of getting them to face their
If anyone understands facing challenges, it's Louganis. He missed a chance in 1980 to compete at the Olympics in Moscow when America boycotted the games, but competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games on both the springboard and platform. He's won four golds and one silver medal. Toss in multiple world championship titles, and Louganis dominated diving in the '80s.
The world changed for him in the 1988 Seoul Olympics when he hit his head on the springboard during a preliminary round and suffered a concussion. Six months earlier, he had been diagnosed as being HIV positive. When the news became public, he was dropped by almost all of his sponsors.
He understands that most people who remember him from the Olympics want to talk about his head injury because it happened in front of a global TV audience. Louganis says that story is part of what has made him the man he is today. He's been able to find the positive in everything that's happened to him.
"It's been 25 years since I was diagnosed HIV positive. Back then, we thought it was a death sentence, but I'm still here," he says. "Hitting my head was unfortunate, but the bigger story was that I got back up on the board and I did the next dive -- which was the highest scoring dive of that Olympics.
"The other thing that rings true for me is that you don't achieve greatness on your own. My coach and I got through that moment in time together."
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday