After 13 years of elite training, four Games and two bronze medal wins, Tom Daley has ended his long wait to top an Olympic podium by bringing home the gold in the men’s synchronised 10-meter diving event with his partner Matty Lee.
The Team GB star told reporters he is “incredibly proud to say I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion”, and hopes that his performance will inspire young LGBT+ people to realise they “can achieve anything”.
“There are more open and out LGBT athletes at this Olympics than any other Olympic Games previously,” said Daley, who is married to American screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
“I came out in December 2013, when I was younger, I always felt like I was the one that was alone and different and didn’t fit in and there was something about me that is never going to be as good as society wanted me to be.
“I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. You can achieve anything.
“There is a whole lot of your chosen family out here to support you and I think it’s one of those things that I feel incredibly proud to say I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion.
“And I feel very empowered by that because when I was younger I felt I was never going to achieve anything because of who I was.” (continued below)
Atop the winners’ podium, an emotional Daley shed a few tears as he was awarded his long-anticipated medal alongside Lee.
The pair put in a flawless performance to secure Team GB’s second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics – and the first-ever Olympic title for UK in the synchronised 10m event – beating China, the favourites to win, by just 1.23 points.
It’s a feat made all the more remarkable when you consider that Daley couldn’t even walk a few weeks ago, after undergoing knee surgery for a torn meniscus back in June.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” Daley added. “I dreamt, as has Matty, since I started diving 20 years ago for this moment. I thought I was going to win an Olympic gold in Rio and that turned out the complete opposite by a long shot.
“My husband said to me my story wasn’t finished and my son [Robbie] needed to be there to watch me win an Olympic gold medal. I can say my son watched me become an Olympic champion, albeit on TV as they couldn’t be here. It’s such a great feeling.”
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io