In a surprising twist, Olympic diving champion Tom Daley has announced his return to the pool after a two-year absence. The three-time world champion and gold medalist at the Tokyo Games in 2020 has his sights firmly set on the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Daley’s decision to come out of retirement was triggered by an emotional request from his eldest son, Robbie, who expressed his desire to see his father dive in the Olympics. This revelation has reignited Daley’s competitive spirit and passion for the sport, prompting him to pursue a potential comeback with a year to go until the prestigious event.
Tom Daley’s Glorious Diving Journey
Tom Daley’s diving journey began at the tender age of seven, and his talent shone through at an early age, making his Olympic debut for Great Britain at just 14 years old.
Over the years, he has proven himself as a remarkable athlete, securing Olympic gold alongside Matty Lee in the men’s 10-meter synchronised competition at the Tokyo Games.
However, after his triumph in 2020, Daley decided to step back from diving and declared his “theoretical retirement.”
The Catalyst for His Return: A Family Trip to Colorado Springs
During a trip to Colorado Springs, USA, with his husband Dustin Lance Black for the birth of their second son, Phoenix, in March, fate intervened. Daley was unaware that Colorado Springs is an Olympic city and is home to the esteemed US Olympic and Paralympic training centre. It was during this visit that his eldest son, Robbie, unknowingly set in motion the chain of events leading to his father’s potential comeback.
Robbie’s Heartfelt Request Ignites the Flame
As Daley visited a museum in Colorado Springs with Robbie, the young child expressed his earnest wish to witness his father diving at the Olympics. This heartfelt plea from his son touched Daley deeply, sparking a newfound passion and determination within him.
The Olympic champion was moved by the idea of sharing such a momentous experience with his son and felt inspired to explore the possibility of returning to the sport.
In a recent YouTube video, Daley shared his mixed emotions about this unexpected turn of events. He admitted uncertainty about how his return to diving will unfold. It could be a lighthearted and recreational endeavour, devoid of any pressure, or it may evolve into a serious pursuit aimed at competing in the Paris Olympics 2024.
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The 29-year-old acknowledges the physical challenges that lie ahead but maintains a positive outlook, stating that he will never say never to achieving his goal.
A Champion of LGBTQ+ Rights
Beyond his remarkable diving career, Daley is renowned for being a vocal advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2013, he courageously came out as gay in a YouTube video and has since used his platform to raise awareness about homophobia in sports.
His film, “Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me,” highlighted the discrimination and danger faced by LGBT+ athletes in certain Commonwealth countries. Daley strongly believes that all athletes should feel safe and comfortable being their authentic selves.
Tom Daley’s decision to return to diving with an eye on the Paris Olympics 2024 is a testament to his enduring passion for the sport and the inspiration drawn from his family. As he embarks on this uncertain journey, the champion diver remains an icon for LGBTQ+ rights, using his influence to advocate for inclusivity and acceptance in sports.
Whether he competes at the Paris Olympics or not, Daley’s determination and resilience continue to inspire athletes worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the world of sports.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: British diver Tom Daley. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.