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Diver Tom Daley says he’s dating a man

Dec 2, 2013, 9:19 AM EDT

Tom Daley AP

Diver Tom Daley, one of Great Britain’s most celebrated Olympians, said that he is dating a man.

“One thing I’ve never really felt that comfortable talking about are my relationships,” Daley said in a YouTube video published Monday. “I’ve been dating girls, and I’ve never really had a serious relationship to talk about. And, now I kind of feel ready to talk about my relationships. Come spring, this year, my life changed, massively, when I met someone. They make me feel so happy, so safe, and everything just feels great. Well, that someone is a guy. It did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen. But it wasn’t until spring this year that something just clicked. It felt right.

“Of course I still fancy girls. But right now, I’m dating a guy, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Daley is the 2009 world champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist on the platform. He has 2.4 million Twitter followers, more than any other athlete in a sport whose biggest event is the Olympics, save Usain Bolt.

Daley, 19, said his life has been a bit of a roller coaster the last few years. He lost his dad to cancer at age 40 in 2011 and then won a bronze medal at the London Games as one of the host nation’s biggest stars.

Four-time U.S. Olympic champion diver Greg Louganis is also gay. Australian 2008 Olympic platform champion Matthew Mitcham and two-time 2004 Olympic medalist Matthew Helm have said they are, too.

In April, NBA center Jason Collins became the first active male athlete in a major North American team sport to come out as gay.

“In an ideal world, I wouldn’t be doing this video because it shouldn’t matter,” Daley said. “But, recently, I was misquoted in an interview. It made me feel really angry and frustrated. Emotions that I’ve never felt before when reading something about myself. For me, honesty is something that I really do believe in. I’ve always been honest. I may have been vague in some of my answers, but I’ve always been honest.”

Daley said he’s heading to Houston, Texas, for a training camp through Christmas.

“I’m still Tom,” he said. “I still want to win a gold medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain. I’m still as motivated as ever to do that.”

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  1. sailbum7 - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    He comes out and makes this very public declaration by posing a YouTube video and then makes statements like it should not matter. The only reason it matters is because every time one of these athletes or celebs “comes out” they make a huge deal about it. Did they ever think that maybe if they stopped making such a big deal about it and calling all this attention to it that the rest of the world might also stop seeing it as a big deal. Then you have this journalist Nick Hope making comments about hoping the media will give him privacy. This guy just posted a YouTube video and very publically announced this. If he wanted privacy then maybe he should not have made such a media event out of this announcement. They can not have it both ways – either they want their privacy, in which case stop braodcasting these announcements in very public ways to the entire world, or learn to live with the intrusive media and publicity they are themselves instigating.

    • it's all bs - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      From now on, I want you to deny that you are married, deny that you are having sex with your wife or girlfriend. While you are in public you are not allow to hold her hand, give her a kiss or a hug, or even share your name with her. You are to treat her in a polite but distant manner. If you have children, you are not allowed to mention them in public, since everyone will then be uncomfortably reminded of the fact that you are having sex with their mother. You may not share a home with her, since that will make it obvious that the two of you are sexually involved…..think about it and then get over yourself….SHEESH!!!

    • sabatimus - Dec 2, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      I think sailbum7’s statements and “it’s all bs”s statements are mutually exclusive. However, I think that gay athletes (and gays in general) come out publicly because it’s a statement of strength for them–they’re saying they no longer need to hide anymore. I also think that it should not matter what his sexual preference is…but it does matter, especially with Sochi and the Russian human rights climate, let alone the prevalence of anti-gay sentiment stateside. The more people come out, the less of a big deal it will be. It becomes more socially acceptable.

      I do think however that, if he wants privacy, broadcasting himself on YouTube is anathema to that.

  2. Nick Zaccardi - Dec 2, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I believe those are the British Swimming CEO’s comments about media privacy, not Nick Hope’s.

  3. doctorrustbelt - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I’ve had a Sue Bird thang for a while… and… I will be mildly disappointed when she comes out…. but… NOT disappointed in her choice.

  4. sillec28 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    The CEO of British Swimming says “I hope the media will give Tom the privacy he deserves.” That sounds good. But wait a minute. Tom just posted a video about his relationship with a man. If he wanted privacy I don’t think that’s the way to do it.

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