Out Olympian Tom Daley Talks Emotional Gold Medal Win

Tuesday August 17, 2021
Originally published on August 16, 2021

When Olympic diver Tom Daley finally clinched a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he was overcome with emotion.

In a recent interview with BBC, he said he "never thought he'd feel emotion" the way he did. But little did anyone know, he almost did not make it to the Olympics due to surgery to repair an injury.

"My knee started clicking really badly and clunking but there was no pain, and I thought 'well this is really weird' and that had been for about a year," he remembers, BBC reports. "I was actually doing a meditation and when I stood up, my knee kind of clicked — that felt different. I tried to carry on training. I woke up the next day and I couldn't walk. My knee was locked into position."

Still he pressed on, had the surgery and came out on top with several victories at the Tokyo games. In the moment he ws presented with a gold medal, Daley remembers being speechless.

"I never thought I'd feel emotion the way that I felt it. I always dreamed about singing the national anthem at the top of my lungs and I literally couldn't even speak," he told the BBC.

In Britain, Daley has been a household name as a diver since the age of 14. He has won major titles while also suffering major loses, such as losing his dad to cancer.

However, after coming out and marrying his partner, Dustin Lance Black, he has won hearts all around the world.

"You know when you see the movie of all the things, a flashback in your head of all the things that were really hard and challenging and difficult and then all the good times, the bad times, the people that helped you get there... it all kind of just came flooding back," says Daley about being overcome with emotion. "I'm not a crier usually but I was so overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions. I actually found myself during the whole Olympics being quite emotional."