Gay Dad's Diving Champ Son, Nicknamed 'Little Louganis,' Headed to Tokyo Olympics

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday June 21, 2021

Jordan Windle — also known as "Little Louganis," a nickname that hearkens back to the out Olympic champion who took the gold in 1984 and 1988 — is headed to the Olympics in Tokyo this summer. And his out gay dad, Jerry Windle, will be there to watch him compete.

Jordan's Olympic journey began, improbably enough, in his birthplace of Cambodia, NBC Sports recounted. His parents died when he was still an infant, but he was adopted by Jerry Windle, "an American who had reportedly struggled to adopt in the U.S. as a single, gay man."

Per the article, Jerry "adopted Jordan when he was 18 months old and helped nurse him back to health from malnutrition, scabies, intestinal parasites and severe infections. When Windle was 7, he attended a summer camp where he was spotted by Tim O'Brien, the son of Hall of Famer diving coach Ron O'Brien."

That connection seemed freighted with destiny, as it turned out.

"O'Brien had seen something in Windle that reminded him of one of his father's most decorated divers: Four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis," notes in its profile on Jordan. "It prompted the nickname 'Little Louganis.'"

Jordan proved O'Brien right: He won "four U.S. junior titles," recalled. "Along the way, Jordan and Jerry co-authored a children's book based on their family experience called, 'An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy.'"

Now, after 15 years of training, Jordan is following in Louganis' footsteps and heading to this summer's Olympics. He recently "produced a sublime dive worthy of five 10s and two 9.5s in the finals to stave off the competition and guarantee a spot on the U.S. roster alongside teammate Brandon Loschiavo, who finished the trials in first," the story noted.

Outsports reports that Louganis — who, like Jordan, was also adopted — took "[Jordan] on as a diving protege." When Jordan qualified for the upcoming Olympic games, Louganis shared these words of wisdom for his apprentice: "always have fun and treat it like a sport's supposed to be."

While guesting on Cyd Zeigler's LGBTQ sports podcast last year, Jordan recalled standing up for an LGBTQ teammate. "I have been trying my whole life to be a role model to other people and show that... we have to treat each other like a family," Jordan told Ziegler, explaining that "my dad has been teaching me that since the beginning" and saying that "it was easy for me to defend him.

"I wouldn't take it back for anything and I'd do it again if I had to," Jordan added.

Jordan also had stirring words about his gay dad, telling NBC Sports: "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him, his love and support. He's always there for me, calling me. I'd give him anything, and I'm sure he'd do the same."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.