How Tom Daley is empowering future LGBTQ+ olympians


 

After a 13-year long battle for the gold, openly gay British diver Tom Daley, 27, achieved his goal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Following his gold medal win on Monday, Daley delivered an inspiring message to his fans in the LGBTQ community.

“I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion,” said Daley, who made his Olympic debut when he was only 14. “When I was younger I didn’t think I’d ever achieve anything because of who I was. To be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything.”

Daley came out as gay in 2013, and is one of at least 142 out LGBTQ+ competitors participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is the highest number on record, according to NGO GLAAD. 

Upon his victory, Daley shared some of his hopes for those apart of the LGBTQ+ community and struggling.

"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 and there is a whole lot of your chosen family out here ready to support you," Daley said after his win. "I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion," he added.

Daley took home the gold in the men's synchronized 10-meter platform event alongside his diving partner Matty Lee. The team succeeded Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen, representing China, by 1.23 points.

 

 

While the winning gold is a first for Daley, he is no stranger to the Olympic platform. At only  14-years-old, he made his debut in Beijing's 2008 olympics. Additionally, he also took home bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.  

Dustin Lance Black, Daley’s husband and the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, praised his husband’s victory on Twitter. “No words! So so many tears!” he wrote.

The couple, who married in 2017, have a son who is equally thrilled to see his father competing for their country. 

 

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