British diver Tom Daley won his first-ever Olympic gold medal on Monday at the Tokyo Games.

Daley and his diving partner Matty Lee won the gold medal in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform event. Together they beat Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen from China by 1.23 points.

Delay publicly announced he was gay in 2013 after he won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. After he and Lee won the gold medal, Daley said that he felt alone and different when he dove as a kid and that winning this competition proved that LGBT kids are capable of achieving anything.

“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,” he said during his news conference. “And I think it’s one of those things that I feel incredibly proud that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion … I feel very empowered by that. When I was younger, I thought I was never going to be anything or achieve anything because of who I was. And to be an Olympic champion now shows that you can achieve anything.”

The Tokyo Olympics has featured over 50 athletes who said they are part of the LGBTQ community.

“There are more openly out LGBT athletes at this Olympic games than any other Olympic games previously,” said Daley.

Daley also revealed that as a child, he would dream of one day becoming a gold medal champion at the Olympics. He said that the final dive he and Lee made – a 4.5-somersault with a pike – was performed just as he envisioned it for years.

“To see us become Olympic champions, I still cannot actually believe that it’s just happened. It’s been a dream of mine for so many years and I am extremely thankful to everyone who has made it possible,” he said.

After winning the gold medal, Daley revealed that he had knee surgery earlier in the summer because he tore his meniscus in June and needed to repair it. He chose to have surgery despite the tight schedule.

Daley shares this achievement with his husband, Dustin Lance Black, who has won an Oscar. Black won the award for best original screenplay in 2008, for the film Milk, which tells the story of gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.

“My husband’s Oscar goes in the downstairs loo [bathroom],” Daley said. “People often mistake it for a loobrush. We had to get an Oscar loobrush because people were picking it up and realizing it was an actual Oscar, not just a toy.”

He later said he doesn’t understand why he keeps the award in the bathroom.

“I don’t know why he does that, he says he doesn’t want to give it any more power than it needs. He’s done it and moving on to the next thing.”

Read more about:

Leave a comment