Tom Daley Heads to Tokyo with Hopes for Gold and a New Attitude

Tuesday July 20, 2021

Tom Daley.
Tom Daley.  (Source:Instagram)

Tom Daley heads to the Olympics for the fourth time — this time, with a new attitude.

When Daley first went to the Olympic Games in Bejing in 2008, he was 14 years old — the youngest member of the British swim team.

"I remember being the youngest on the team, now I'm the oldest," the 27-year-old told the Mirror. 

But today, he says he is arriving at the competition with a new attitude: "I used to define myself by diving. If I dived well it reflected on me as a person. Now I'm first and foremost a father and husband."

Daley married Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black in 2017. They had a son, Robert "Robbie" Ray Black-Daley, via surrogacy in June 2018.

"My first Olympics in 2008 I was young, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, it was all about the experience," Daley recalled to The Sun. "In 2012 there was that feeling of home crowd advantage and pressure! Going into 2016 I felt at my peak and I put the pressure on myself. That was an intense Olympics for me."

But this year, he's approaching the games differently.

"It's got to a point where I'm, I don't want to say Zen about it, but I no longer define myself by my performance," he explained.

No doubt some will be surprised when they see Daley pull out a ball of yarn while in Tokyo. "He left home armed with knitting needles and a suitcase full of yarn. Lockdown life gave him a new hobby, it also allowed him to step back and re-evaluate," adds The Sun.

"We torture ourselves through it, so much so that you find it hard to enjoy it. In previous Olympics I would be nervous at this point, whereas now I'm excited to get out there and compete."

He added: "Diving is extremely important to me. But I have other important things in my life, mainly being my son."

"The thought that he is going to be able to watch me compete, even if it is on TV, excites me," Daley added.

"These Games are going to be different without fans, but I dived at the Nationals in 2005 before anybody even wanted to come and watch us, so we'll be fine. At the end of the day the 10-metre board is still going to be there and hopefully the water will be too."

Check out these pics from Daley's IG: