British diver Tom Daley has won his first Olympic gold medal.
The out 27-year-old and his diving partner Matty Lee scored gold in their men’s synchronised 10m platform event at the Tokyo Games, with a score of 471.81.
After their dive, the pair watched on as their Chinese rivals Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen performed their final dive.
Daley and Lee broke into wild celebrations and lots of tears the moment they realised they’d struck gold by just over a single point.
“I still can’t honestly believe what is happening,” Daley said after the win.
“That moment, [being] announced as Olympic champions, I was gone. I was blubbering.
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“I have been diving for 20 years and this is my fourth Olympics.”
He said he and his team had prepared with “an unstoppable mentality” this year.
“Lots of people would’ve counted me out of this Olympics being the older person,” he said.
Daley’s husband, Dustin Lance Black, tweeted, “No words! So so many tears! @TomDaley1994 you’re an OLYMPIC CHAMPION! Congratulations Tom and @MattyLee!”
— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) July 26, 2021
Tom Daley gives inspiring message to queer young people
Tom Daley competed in his first Olympics in 2008 aged just 14.
He previously won a bronze medal for the solo 10m platform dive in 2012. He then won bronze again for the synchronized 10m platform event in 2016.
Daley, who came out in 2013, wants his amazing win to inspire queer youth to realise “you can achieve anything”.
The athlete shared that when he was younger, he felt like he was alone, “different” and “didn’t fit in”.
“I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion,” he said.
“I feel very empowered by that because when I was younger I thought that I was never going to be anything or achieve anything because of who I was.
“To be an Olympic champion now, just shows that you can achieve 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 you can achieve anything.
“There is a whole lot of your chosen family out here ready to support you.”
“I feel incredibly proud to say I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion.”
Gold medal winner Tom Daley says he hopes his performance will inspire young LGBT people to realise “you can achieve anything”.
— LBC (@LBC) July 26, 2021
Tom Daley also said he was thrilled to see more openly LGBTIQ+ athletes in Tokyo than “any other Olympic games previously”.
At least 131 are competing at the Tokyo games this year. That’s more than double the number who competed in the 2016 Games in Rio.
Just a few of the queer Aussies in Tokyo are trampoliner Dominic Clarke, tennis player Sam Stosur, basketballer Leilani Mitchell, rugby player Sharni Williams, softball player Kaia Parnaby, as well as footballers Sam Kerr, Chloe Logarzo, Teagan Micah and Tameka Yallop.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.