Sports | Tom Daley

Gay Diver Tom Daley Discusses Coming Out, 'Demon Dive' With BBC

Right now, openly gay diver Tom Daley is competing in the 20th annual Commonwealth Games — the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland. So the BBC caught up with him to ask about his coming out and preparation for the games.

DaleyOn coming out, Daley predictably said:

“The public support has been overwhelming. Everyone's been so nice." It is also, he adds, a "massive weight" off his shoulders.

"Right now, all I concentrate on is diving," he says. "I don't have any other worries. I'm happy with life, I'm happy with diving."

But less known is the the fact that Daley has been plagued with performance anxiety over a “demon dive” that nearly derailed his medalling at the 2012 London games:

Known as the 'back two-and-a-half somersault, two-and-a-half twists from the pike position', the dive involves Daley somersaulting backwards while twisting his body around, his head spinning just inches from the board he left a split-second earlier…

The first of his six dives in the Olympic 10m platform final, Daley's rhythm was disturbed when a camera flashlight went off in the arena…

Daley has just 1.8 seconds to complete each dive before he hits the water 10 metres below at 34mph.

He was allowed to retake it and achieved a respectable score, good enough for him to get on the podium at his home Games.

But from that day on, the dive was an issue.

At various stages over the last two years, he has used words and phrases like "phobia" and "trauma therapy" to describe his state of mind whenever he tries to perform it.

He has even enlisted the help of psychologist to address the issue. But, two years on, he still does not feel 100% comfortable with it.

In April, the dive misfired again and he missed out on a medal at a World Series event in London, in the very pool where the problems began…

The article also contains Daley’s reply to those who claim that he spends too much time on his reality TV show appearances ("If I spent my whole life worrying about what people thought, I wouldn't be a diver and I wouldn't be where I am today.”) as well as this interesting homo-sports nugget:

Daley is likely to face a major challenge from Australia's Matthew Mitchum, who won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, when they compete in the 10m platform in Glasgow later this week.

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Comments

  1. He had to sacrifice so much of the childhood to become an Olympian, why shouldn't he have some fun on TV? There R a whole lot of reality crap out there. His diving and travle shows are awholesome for the record.

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Jul 31, 2014 9:56:55 PM


  2. I thought he was "openly bisexual."

    Posted by: chris | Jul 31, 2014 11:05:44 PM


  3. People can snark all they want but the kid is totally adorable. Props.

    Posted by: Lazycrockett | Jul 31, 2014 11:33:57 PM


  4. @Chris - Earlier this year Daley said he's definitely gay now.

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tom-daley-im-definitely-gay-not-bisexual-102739429.html#Uboyk6M

    Posted by: Retro | Jul 31, 2014 11:34:42 PM


  5. Complete narcissist.

    Posted by: Phil | Jul 31, 2014 11:59:12 PM


  6. Another cute, little, bottom boy has found himself.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Aug 1, 2014 12:19:23 AM


  7. I like him, he is cute, adorable, seems happy and in terms with himself, and he is excellent diver.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Aug 1, 2014 4:00:50 AM


  8. Why is he called "GAY DIVER TOM DALEY"? Why is he still asked about coming out in interviews? I firmly believe that being openly gay overshadows other important successes. I can see why the vast majority of gay athletes don't want to come out. They don't want to be known as the "gay athlete" rather than the athlete who won numerous titles etc.

    Posted by: Lefil | Aug 1, 2014 4:10:31 AM


  9. LEFIL = straight-worshipping trans woman who hates openly gay men

    Posted by: ceem | Aug 1, 2014 6:34:42 AM


  10. @Phil - get a life. Daley's smart enough to know that he has a very small window of opportunity to capitalize on his diving success and, just as you or I would, he's using it. Good for him. And if you looked as good as him you'd be narcissistic too.

    Posted by: Jason MacBride | Aug 1, 2014 6:57:15 AM


  11. @CEEM
    You don't know me, so shut hell up. I don't hate openly gay men at all. It takes a lot of courage to not only come out, but to come out and be a sort of public figure. But I think that it definitely takes away from the athlete’s raw talent and accomplishments when the media focuses so heavily on a player's sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Lefil | Aug 1, 2014 9:28:39 AM


  12. Old news. Now let's talk about Hunter Hayes.

    Posted by: Enchantra | Aug 1, 2014 9:53:45 AM


  13. Ummmm... Hunter Hayes ... hubba hubba.... ;-0

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 1, 2014 9:59:11 AM


  14. Damn that boy is hot

    Posted by: Will | Aug 1, 2014 10:00:20 AM


  15. Lefil, there was nothing wrong with what you said and its 100% true.

    David...in what universe is Dustin Lance Black a top? You moron.

    Posted by: Rowan | Aug 1, 2014 11:27:33 AM


  16. Did you guys know that Ceem and Enchantra are the same person (that person being Rick?) Rick/Ceem/Enchantra (aka Rick in a cocktail dress and a Dolly Parton wig) hate women, openly gay men and Trans people.

    Rick would by sympathetically pathetic if he wasn't so irritating.

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 1, 2014 11:32:25 AM


  17. Did you guys know that Tyler and Lefil are the same person (that person being Rick?). Rick hates openly gay men and wants them to stay in the closet.

    Posted by: ceem | Aug 1, 2014 1:13:22 PM


  18. Lol Rick, deflection isn't your strong suit.

    Rick and I are only the same person when he posts transphobic comments (that sound an awful lot like yours, curious that) under my name. But people usually spot said fakery and call him out.

    But Ceem and Rick are always the same person. That person being a troll.

    It must really steam you when I call you out, Rick. Yet you persist. Oh well......

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 1, 2014 2:24:30 PM


  19. The Commonwealth Games are not an annual event. They occur every four years and only take place in a Commonwealth Country such as Canada, England, Scotland etc...

    Posted by: Brolin | Aug 15, 2014 11:15:29 AM


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