Out gay diver Tom Daley won the first Olympic gold medal of his career at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday.

Daley’s first taste of Olympic gold came in the men’s synchronised 10m platform where he teamed up with his diving partner Matty Lee. The pair’s winning tally of 471.81 was just enough to beat out the Chinese team Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen – they took silver with a score of 470.58. The Russian Olympic Committee team of Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev came in third. 

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Daley and Lee spoke at a press conference after their gold medal win, and the 27-year-old diver shared an inspiring message for the LGBTQI+ community.

Tom Daley and Matty Lee at the Tokyo Olympics. Image: Team GB Facebook.

‘You Can Achieve Anything’

“I came out in December 2013 and when I was younger I always felt like the one that was alone and different and didn’t fit in. There was something about me that was always never going to be as good as what society wanted me to be. I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that, no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone and that you can achieve anything,” said Daley.

“There is a whole lot of your chosen family out here ready to support you. And I think it’s one of those things that I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man, and also an Olympic champion,” said Daley.

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I feel very empowered by that, because, you know, I when I was younger I thought (that I) was never going to be anything or achieve anything because of who I was and to be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything,” he added. 

Daley acknowledged the other out LGBTQI+ athletes at the games – the Tokyo Olympics has the highest number of out athletes in the history of the games.

Daley has competed at four Olympics and has won two bronze medals, one for the 10m platform at the 2012 London Olympics and the other on the 10m synchronised platform at the 2016 Rio de Janerio games. 

‘Not A Dream’

Many took to Twitter to congratulate Daley on his first gold medal, including his husband, Oscar-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, who tweeted: “No words, so many tears!” Black also shared a video of his reaction to the win, saying, “Seems we didn’t dream this last night.”

The couple got married in 2017 and adopted their first child in 2018. The newly crowned gold medalist told BBC Sport that since becoming a father put he has been in “different headspace” in regard to his diving.

 

Daley has another chance at winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, when he competes in the Men’s 10 metre platform competition on August 6, 2021.

 

 

 

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