Athletes may measure their career in terms of individual statistics, awards, and team championships, but very few can be considered all-time greats if they haven’t appeared on a Wheaties box. Everyone from Steph Curry and Adrian Peterson, to Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan, have graced the front of the iconic cereal, which has associated itself with sporting success for nearly 90 years.
One world-class athlete who hadn’t been inducted into the Orange Box Club was American Olympic diver Greg Louganis—until now. The brand announced that Louganis and fellow Olympians Edwin Moses and Janet Evans would receive boxes as a part of the Wheaties Legends series, which will go on sale in May.
Louganis won four gold medals over the course of his two Olympics, and he’s widely considered one of the best divers of all time. But rumors about his sexuality dogged him throughout the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, which occurred at a time when the U.S. was particularly antagonistic towards the LGBT community because of the AIDS epidemic (Louganis eventually came out publicly in 1994).
According to The New York Times, many believe a recent documentary and petition prompted Wheaties’ move to finally recognize Louganis.
“From the moment I hit send on the petition, I knew this was possible,” she said. A month later, she presented a box of 41,000 printed petitions to General Mills officials in Minneapolis. “Having an authentic conversation with them was helpful and was potentially a catalyst to genuinely think about it,” she said.
General Mills representatives told the Times that the petition and documentary didn’t play a profound impact on its decision, but either way, Louganis told the paper he’s just happy to be included: “The times have changed so drastically and so fast.”
Given the social change this inclusion represents, we feel like it’s a good time to revise our list of the 25 greatest Wheaties boxes of all time.
[via New York Times]