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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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