Olympic diver Tom Daley comes out03 December 2013


The 19 year-old tweeted a link to the film, he recorded on his mobile phone, with the message: “Got something I need to say … not been an easy decision to make, hope you can support me!”.

In the statement, Daley said “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.”

“My whole world just changed right there and then. Of course I still fancy girls, but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier. It really does feel right. People are going to have opinions and people are going to make a big deal of this. Is it a big deal? I don’t think so.”, he stressed.

At the end of the five minute clip Daley hoped his fans would get behind him.

“I’m still Tom, I still want to win an Olympic gold medal for Great Britain in Rio 2016 – I’m still as motivated as ever to do that. It would be great to have you guys on that journey too”.

The Olympic bronze medal-winning diver becomes one of the most high-profile British sportsmen to come out as bisexual or gay, following the announcements of the former British and Irish Lions and Wales captain Gareth Thomas, the cricketer Steven Davies and the Ice skater John Curry.

Reactions to the announcement

Daley’s announcement was followed by several messages of support from the sports world, including the former England rugby union player and activist Ben Cohen, the four times Olympic rowing gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent and the BBC Sport Olympics presenter Clare Balding.

The Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree, who came out in 2011, considered the revelation positive but warned Daley may lose sponsorship as several national companies have “an international presence in countries that don’t tolerate gay people”.

The British Swimming Chief Executive and Board Member David Sparkes said:

“Everybody within British Swimming supports Tom and his announcement. It’s a very private matter and doesn’t change the very positive way in which we will continue to work with Tom.”

Gay sporting stars come out

In 2013, several other sporting starts have come out, including the Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Rogers, the NBA centre Jason Collins, the American basketball player Brittney Griner and the Swedish Women’s national team midfielder Caroline Seger.

The announcements have sparked controversy and debates on whether the sporting world, often seen as sexist and heavily influenced by masculine psychology, and fans are prepared to welcome and include professional gay athletes.