The deep end

Greg Louganis reads inspiring, somewhat gut-wrenching letter to his younger self

On Thursday night, Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis gave a heartwarming speech at the Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards.

Related: Greg Louganis Tells How He Went From Heartthrob To Activist With Candid New Film

Instead of a boilerplate speech, Louganis read a letter he’d written to his 16-year-old self:

“Dear 16-year-old Greg, I know you won’t believe me, but life is going to get better. Young man, you will make lots of mistakes along the way.

You will learn your dad really is proud of you, and loved you, but didn’t know how to show it.

You will not get the love you want, but you will learn that people will do the best they can. You’ve been rough on your mum, but you will forgive yourself and she will teach you that she loves you. There’s a man you’ve met who will teach you the meaning of trust and respect. He will stay by your side when you think no one else will.

You will understand those confusing feelings about yourself. About who you are and who you fall in love with. It’s just who you are that you love a man. You will survive your suicide attempts and something glorious will happen.

You’ll realize God doesn’t make mistakes. You will learn you weren’t discarded, you were loved by your biological family. I know you can’t imagine living past 30, but you will live well beyond that. Those hurts, bumps and bruises, you’re going to let go of.”

Watch the speech below: