Olympic Diving Star Tom Daley Comes Out
The gay community just got an early Christmas present.
In a new YouTube video, British Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed to the public for the first time that he is in a relationship with a man, the British newspaper the Guardian reports.
Daley, 19, said he wanted to "put an end to all the rumors and speculation" regarding his sexual orientation, adding that he "couldn’t be happier" with his new partner.
"I’ve been dating girls and I’ve never really had a serious relationship to talk about, and now I feel ready to talk about my relationships," the athlete said in the five-minute clip. "Come spring this year my life changed massively when I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe, and everything just feels great. And, well, that someone is a guy."
Daley said he wanted to come out in a YouTube video because he didn’t want his words to be "twisted" and said he has only told a few people about his relationship, including his mother Debbie, who has been "very supportive." He added that some family members had "mixed opinions" to his coming out.
"Lots of them didn’t believe it," Daley said. "Lots of them wanted me to keep it quiet. Some said: ’Why don’t you do a statement?’ Some said: ’Why don’t you do a magazine cover? Why don’t you do a TV interview?’ But I didn’t want my words twisted. I wanted to put an end to all the rumors, the speculation and just say it and tell you guys, because it’s what I want to do."
Rumors regarding Daley’s sexuality have circulated since he made headlines last year for participating in the Olympics. In September the athlete told the British newspaper the Mirror that he is not gay, however.
"I think it’s funny when people say I’m gay... I laugh it off... I’m not. But even if I was, I wouldn’t be ashamed. It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest what people thought," he said.
"But I’m cool with my gay following. It’s great to have gay fans even though my friends gently take the mick," Daley added.
Daley, who has become a sex symbol over the past year, won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games and was Britain’s youngest competitor in the Games as well as the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest to participate in a final.
He did not mention the controversy regarding the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in the YouTube video or the Mirror interview -- though he does have his sights set on a 2016 win.
"I still want to win an Olympic medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain," he said in his video. "I’m still as motivated as ever to do that and it would be great to have you guys on that journey as well."
Watch Daley’s video below: