By Rick Bentley The Fresno Bee
The 10 celebrities looking to belly-flop their way to a win on the new ABC reality competition show “Splash” at 8 tonight 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,” Louganis said. “It’ll be my job to guide them through all of their performances.”
The celebrities counting on Louganis are: NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, extreme skier Rory Bushfield, comedian Louie Anderson, Drake Bell of “Drake &Josh,” actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, NFL star Ndamukong Suh, model Katherine Webb, former Hugh Hefner girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson and actress Nicole Eggert.
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 won four golds and one silver medal and multiple world championship titles.
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.
“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 said.
“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.