07 August 2021

Tom Daley wishes his late father could have seen his Tokyo success

07 August 2021

Tom Daley said he wishes his late father was here to see his success as he clinched the fourth Olympic medal of his career.

The 27-year-old, who ended a 13-year wait for an Olympic gold medal when he won the synchronised 10 metres platform last week alongside Matty Lee, came third in the solo 10 metres event on Saturday.

Daly, who has been married for four years and has a son with husband Dustin Lance Black, made his Olympic debut aged 14 and now has three bronze medals and one gold medal from his efforts at the Games over the years.

Speaking after winning a bronze medal on Saturday, the Plymouth-born diver said he is now going to have a bit of a break and “a couple of margaritas”.

He told the BBC: “I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone at home, and in particular to Lance, my husband.

Tom Daley during the men’s 10m platform final (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

“He has been my rock throughout this whole thing and has put up with me and sacrificed so much, moved to the UK so I can train.

“My mum, and of course my dad.

“I wish that my dad was here to have seen me at these Olympic Games winning two Olympic medals.

“He would be jumping up, and he’d probably be in the pool by now.

“I’m so overwhelmed with all the love and support back home.”

Daley’s father Robert died aged 40 from a brain tumour in 2011.

Earlier this week, the diver joined a call for donations to fund a “groundbreaking” trial of a cannabis-based drug to treat an aggressive form of cancer.

The Brain Tumour Charity has launched an appeal to help raise £450,000 needed to fund the new three-year trial, which is due to begin recruiting some 232 patients at 15 hospitals across the UK early next year.

Following Daley’s success on Saturday, his husband tweeted: “Are you kidding me?! Another Olympic medal! Two for two!

“So so so proud of you my love! Now bring those medals home my sweet champion.”

Jack Buckner, chief executive of British Swimming, said he is “delighted” with Daley’s bronze medal, adding that the diver has “been through so much behind the scenes”.

Daley revealed he could not walk just weeks ago after undergoing knee surgery in June and admitted he was struggling to even make it to Japan.

Great Britain’s Tom Daley during the Men’s 10m Platform Final (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Buckner praised the team that got Daley ready for the Games, telling the PA news agency: “I think one of the things that maybe we haven’t said enough of this Games is how great our sports science and medicine team’s been to get him back.

“It’s a massive setback to have an operation that close to the Games and yet he came out and got a gold and a bronze, so it’s fantastic.”

Mr Buckner hailed Daley as a “fabulous” role model and praised him for being able to “reset” after winning gold at the start of the Games and coming back to win bronze, describing it as “an amazing achievement”.

Meanwhile, the diver has impressed onlookers with his expertise in an unlikely pursuit in recent days.

After being pictured knitting in the stands in Tokyo, he revealed a Team GB cardigan complete with the Japanese for “Tokyo” on its front, the Team GB and Olympics emblems across its back, and a Union flag on its sleeve.

He shared images of the patriotic apparel on TikTok and his Instagram account madewithlovebytomdaley, which is dedicated to knitting and crochet.

Tom Daley has an Instagram account dedicated to knitting and crochet (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire)

Daley’s knitting Instagram page had around 100,000 followers at the start of the week but now boasts almost one million after he caught the attention of the cameras at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre knitting his way through the diving events.

Among his other creations at the Games, Daley has also produced a knitted Union flag pouch for his gold medal, which he earned alongside 23-year-old Lee.

Daley made his Olympic debut in Beijing before finishing third in the 10m platform in London in 2012 and synchronised 10m platform in Rio in 2016.

After winning gold, Daley said he hopes his victory acts as an inspiration for the LGBT community.

“I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone.

“You can achieve anything,” he said.

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