British Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed that he is gay in a video he posted on YouTube Monday morning. The 19-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in front of his home nation, spoke about how his life recently changed when he entered into a relationship with another man.
“Come spring, this year, my life changed — massively,” Daley said in the video. “When I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. That someone is a guy.”
Daley admitted that it took him by surprise that he could have romantic feelings for a man, but said he is comfortable with where he is at in his personal life.
“It did take me by surprise a little bit,” he said. “It was always in the back of my head that it could happen, but it wasn’t until the spring of this year that something clicked. It felt right. Like I said, my whole world just changed right there and then. … It just really does feel right.”
Daley added that he still “fancies girls” but stressed that he could not be happier in his current relationship.
Edward Lord, the chairman of the Amateur Swimming Association, expressed support for Daley and his decision to come out.
“To be one of the first British Olympic athletes to come out is very brave,” Lord told BBC News. “We must all support Tom in taking this incredibly courageous step. I am very proud of Tom.”
Daley said that his mother was very supportive of his decision, while he had “mixed opinions” from other family and friends when he decided to come out publicly. His father died of cancer in 2011.
“Lots of them did not believe it,” he said. “Lots of them wanted me to keep it quiet. I didn’t want to get my words twisted. I wanted to put an end to all the rumors and speculation, and just say it and tell you guys. It’s what I want to do. My friends and family are always there to support me and I hope you guys can be too.
“I mean, I’m still Tom. I still want to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain. I am still as motivated as ever to do that. It would be great to have you guys on that journey, too.”
Given some of the controversy that has surrounded the upcoming Olympic Games in Russia and the country’s stance on gay athletes, it took a great deal of courage for Daley to come out. Hopefully he receives the support he deserves.Google+