Thursday 22 March 2018

Tom Daley says fiance the reason he is still diving as he reveals he nearly quit

Tom Daley will compete for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Tom Daley will compete for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio

Olympic champion Tom Daley has said his fiance Dustin Lance Black is the reason he is still diving.

The diver, who will compete for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said he came very close to quitting completely three years ago.

Daley won bronze in the 2012 London Olympics in the men's 10m platform, but he was haunted by a crucial twist dive that had gone wrong. He lost the dive in mid-air after being distracted by camera flashes, and had to retake the dive.

The 22-year-old told The Times magazine: " After 2012 I had a rough time getting back into training. I lost motivation. I thought I might not want to do diving any more, not go to another Olympics. I wanted to go out and be a normal teenager."

In the aftermath, he sought treatment with a sports psychologist for post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I kept seeing the flashing cameras," he said.

"I had injuries. I would do the minimum in training; I was getting worse and worse."

He took time off, travelled - and met LGBT activist and Oscar-winning screenwriter Black, 42, who gave him new impetus.

Daley explained: "Lance is the reason I am still diving. Diving isn't a nine-to-five job where you can go home and have a glass of wine. It's an intense but short-lived career.

"In March 2013 I was at my all-time low and didn't want to do it any more.

"Then I met him and thought, 'This guy won't want to be with me unless I'm successful at what I do'. I felt happy all of a sudden. Nothing seemed confusing any more. He is a massive, massive support for me."

The pair revealed their engagement with a traditional wedding announcement in The Times in October 2015, two years after Daley came out to his fans in a YouTube video.

Both had rings ready to propose, but it was Daley who popped the question.

He explained: " I just asked him in the spare room in our flat. I had the ring box in my underwear. It was probably the least glamorous proposal imaginable.

"I got down on one knee and asked, but he left me hanging. Then he said, 'Hang on a second', and went and got his ring from his bag and said, 'I was going to do that today!'.

"So I beat him to it, and a little bit of my competitive edge came out."

Press Association

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