Tom Daley is driven competitor with his eye on the prize, and not just because he has the Olympic rings literally tattooed on his bicep.
At age 20, diver (not swimmer, as his Twitter bio states) Tom Daley has already competed in TWO Olympics. On my 20th birthday, I ate a full pizza by myself. Advantage: Tom Daley.
At the 2008 Olympics, at just 14 (!!!) Tom was the youngest to participate in a final, and the youngest non-swimmer in the entire Olympics. For his 18th birthday present, Tom snagged himself an Olympic bronze medal.
Tom is huge in the UK, both as a diving personality and literally, like when an 80 foot wrap-around graphic of him adorned a Cardiff John Lewis store.
At 20, Tom is well into his diving career, but he’s only just beginning. In 2009, FINA (the worldwide leader in aquatics competition, in case you were familiar with your diving lingo) ranked Tom as the #1 diver for the 10 meter platform (his specialty).
Tom cleans up regularly at the Commonwealth Games, the longstanding competition between the 71 countries and territories of the British Commonwealth. Tom won two golds in 2010, and a gold ans a silver in 2014.
Advocate for LGBT rights
In December 2013, Tom came out as a gay man, in a personal youtube video (that now has over 11 million views). At the time, it made UK front page news, but Tom didn’t think it deserved that much attention: “I don’t think it should be news I don’t think it matters who you choose to be in a relationship with.”
It’s that self-effacing attitude that just recently won Tom the Sports Personality of the Year at the British LGBT Awards
And the winner of Sports Personality is @TomDaley1994, the most visible LGBT advocate in sport. #BritishLGBTAwards pic.twitter.com/oHRFJdQER6
British LGBT Awards (@BritLGBTAwards) April 24, 2015
Tom is set to debut introduce his new “firework” dive, seen below at camera-defying speeds, in competition shortly.
Tom describes this move to BBC Sports as a forward 3.5 somersaults with one twist in the piked position, as “like a little firework.” His coach Jane Figueiredo has pushed him to try this move, that’s never been done at 10 meter platform.
Daley also told the Guardian: “It was a risky decision to learn a new dive but it’s definitely paying off. It’s hard because most of the dives out there people have done them before, people know what it is and it’s just how you do it.“
Daley also told the Guardian: “Gold in Rio is my ultimate dream, I’ve always wanted to win an Olympic gold medal. Who knows if that will be the end? I’m wanting to carry on as long as my body can take it.”