“I am very proud to be a gay man and an Olympic champion.” Tom Daley had already revealed his homosexuality eight years ago, but this time his words also echoed from Tokyo in countries where LGBT communities are often forced to live in the shadows: around his neck the gold medal just won in synchronized diving from the 10-meter platform, alongside his teammate Matty Lee, the Briton sent his rainbow message to the world sitting at the same table at the press conference with the other two couples on the podium, the Chinese one and that of the Russian Olympic Committee. “I hope every LGBT person can understand that no matter how lonely they may feel, they are not alone. You can reach any milestone, and the family you choose will be ready to support you, ”said the 27-year-old, who was applauded at home by her husband, director Dustin Lance Black, Oscar-winning director for Milk’s screenplay, and their son Robbie.
Now Daley is one of more than 140 LGBTQ athletes competing in Tokyo, but when he made his debut at the Games at the age of 14, the situation was very different: «When I was young I felt alone, it always seemed to me not to be good for society. I was afraid of not being able to get anything for what I was ». At the fourth Olympics, after two bronzes in 2012 and 2016, gold finally arrived. Unexpected because a knee injury threatened to oust Daley from Tokyo, and because China was aiming to confirm Rio’s gold pair Cao-Chen, both two-time Olympic champions, but guilty of a mistake in the fourth of six dives. It ended with the British at 471.81, the Chinese at 470.58 and the Russians Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev third by post. “At the announcement of the victory I started sobbing,” said Daley, who then dedicated the success to his father Rob, who died at 40 from cancer in 2011: “He has never seen me win an Olympic medal, get married, have a son, he couldn’t teach me to drive or have a beer in the pub with me. ‘ There are those who fear that he may now retire, but the British has removed this scenario: now he is focused on the individual race.