DALEY Thomas < Back  
Sport Diving
CGA England   
Gender Men
Born 21 May 1994 in Plymouth, ENG
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Husband Dustin Lance Black, son Robert [2018]
Residence London, ENG
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began diving at age seven at his local club in Plymouth, England.
Why this sport? He had swimming lessons but found them boring and wanted more of a challenge. He saw people diving and decided that was the sport for him.
Club / Team Dive London: England
Name of coach Jane Figueiredo [personal], from 2014
Footedness Right
International Debut
Year 2007
Competing for Great Britain
General Interest
Nicknames Tom, Dales (sport-magazine.co.uk, 23 Apr 2015)
Hobbies Yoga, meditation, knitting, crocheting. (Instagram profile, 22 Feb 2021; bbc.co.uk, 16 Jul 2020)
Hero / Idol His late father Rob. (theguardian.com, 18 Jul 2015)
Injuries In April 2018 he suffered with injuries to both shins. He was forced to wear a knee-high walking boot on his left leg between training sessions to alleviate the pain. He also sprained three ribs while training in the same month. (fina.org, 30 Apr 2018)

A hip injury forced him to pull out of the 10m platform at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Despite the injury he still won a gold medal in the synchronised 10m platform with Dan Goodfellow. (bbc.co.uk, 21 Oct 2018)

He sustained a concussion during training in March 2018. He was unable to swim for almost a week and was not cleared to compete until just before the start of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (bbc.com, 04 Apr 2018; mirror.co.uk, 04 Apr 2018)

He underwent minor hip surgery in May 2017 and missed the British Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland, the following month. He returned to competition at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (bbc.co.uk, 05 May 2017, 31 May 2017; theguardian.com, 23 Jul 2017)

In March 2013 he pulled out of a Grand Prix event in Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States of America, due to an elbow injury he suffered while training. (sportinglife.com, 09 May 2013)

In August 2010 he injured his triceps muscle while competing in the synchronised 10m platform at the 2010 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The injury forced him to withdraw from both the synchronised 10m platform and 10m platform, and also meant he was unable to compete in the 10m platform at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. (FINA Aquatics World Magazine, 23 Oct 2010; tomdaley.tv, 17 Feb 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto "You have to want it more than anything. You have to be willing to miss out on everything. It has to be the biggest thing in your life." (theguardian.com, 18 Jul 2015)
Awards and honours In 2017 he was presented with the International Swimming Federation [FINA] Best Male Diver Award. (fina.org, 02 Dec 2017)

He was named British Swimming's 2015 Athlete of the Year. He was also named Diver of the Year by British Swimming in 2015 and 2017. (swimswam.com, 03 Oct 2015; britishswimming.org, 04 Nov 2017)

The European Swimming Federation [LEN] named him the 2009, 2015 and 2017 Athlete of the Year in the diving category. (swimswam.com, 22 Jan 2018)

He was named England's Amateur Swimming Association [ASA] 2015 Diving Performance Athlete of the Year. (swimswam.com, 16 Nov 2015)

He was named as the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2010. (bbc.co.uk, 07 Nov 2011)
Other sports He competed in judo as a junior and represented the county of Devon in England. (theguardian.com, 18 Jul 2015)
Milestones He became the first British diver to win four medals at the Olympic Games, when he claimed bronze in the 10m platform at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. He had won his third Olympic medal with gold in the synchronised 10m platform in Tokyo. (SportsDeskOnline, 06 Sep 2021; fina.org, 07 Aug 2021)

He became the first British diver to win gold at the world championships when he triumphed in the 10m platform at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy. He then went on to become the first British diver to win a second [2015] and third [2017] world championship gold medal. His gold medal in 2009 at age 15 years and 61 days also made him the youngest British diver to win a world championship medal of any colour. (guardian.co.uk, 03 Jan 2009; SportsDeskOnline, 07 Sep 2021)
Famous relatives His husband Dustin Lance Black is a screenwriter, and won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 2008 film 'Milk'. (bbc.co.uk, 01 Oct 2015, 14 Jul 2017)
Other information KNITTING
In 2020 he took up knitting, and he says the hobby has had a positive effect on his diving. At the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo he was seen knitting poolside and later revealed a completed Tokyo 2020-themed cardigan featuring the Olympic rings and the words 'Team GB'. He has used his knitting to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity, after his father passed away due to brain cancer in 2011. "Honestly, I think it's made a massive difference. There's a long wait in between the synchro and the individual [events] and there's a lot of time to think. My time to think has been replaced with knitting. I'm someone that's really bad at resting. I sit there. I fidget. I bite my nails. People do different things during competition. I've seen people using colouring books, playing games on their phone or listen to music or lay down. There's something different for everyone to be able to get their escape and I'm grateful and lucky that I feel like I've found something that I enjoy to do." (telegraph.co.uk, 06 Aug 2021, 07 Aug 2021; nbcnews.com, 05 Aug 2021)

BREAK
He took a break from the sport in mid-2018 to spend time with his son Robbie, who was born in June that year. He returned to competition in March 2019. "Having Robbie has actually helped me rediscover my love for diving which I think is showing in the results. Everyone always asks when I'll retire and I always say as long as my body keeps going then I'll keep going." (bbc.co.uk, 08 Jul 2019)

ACADEMY
He is the figurehead behind the Tom Daley Diving Academy based at the London Aquatics Centre in England. The programme is designed to support people of all ages to take up diving. "I am so proud to be able to make diving a little bit more accessible, to get people involved and learning new skills. That is what the academy is all about, getting people involved. I would be so proud if anyone came out of the academy and into an Olympic team." (londonaquaticscentre.org, 19 Aug 2016; independant.co.uk, 26 Jun 2019)