We can be anything, Tom Daley says upon winning his first Olympic gold medal

Tue. July 27, 2021 3:21 PM by Gerald Farinas


photo credit // alex smith

The British diver debut as a 14-year old in 2008 Beijing Olympics

Despite popularity since his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a 14-year old, out gay diver Tom Daley says his first gold medal is an affirmation that dispels old anxieties about being gay.

"We can be anything," he said as he showed off his new gold hardware obtained at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this week.

Representing Great Britain and holding up the Union Jack for photos, Daley declared, "I'm proud to say I am a gay man and an Olympic champion."

Daley said he grew up with the near-universal anxieties experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons.

Holding press with reporters from around the world, Daley explained, "When I was a little boy I felt like an outsider, felt different, felt like I was never going to be anything because who I was wasn't what society wanted me to be."

He continued, "To be able to see out LGBT people performing at the Olympic Games is ... I hope we can give young kids hope."

The BBC said that nearly 160 athletes at the Tokyo Games identify as LGBTQ. When Daley appeared on the diving board at the Beijing Games there were less than 20.

Daley won his gold in the men's 10 meter synchronised platform dive alongside fellow Brit, Matty Lee.