Olympic Bronze Medalist comes out as... human[/font]
Tom Daley Photo by Jim ThurstonBy Brody Levesque | PLYMOUTH, UK -- In a YouTube announcement made public Monday, British Olympic Diver Tom Daley told the world that he is in a relationship with a man. Pointedly avoiding use of the terms 'gay' or 'bi' the 19 year old Olympian said;
"In spring this year my life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. That someone is a guy."[/font]
Daley also noted, "Of course I still fancy girls but right now I'm dating a guy and I couldn't be happier."[/font]
Daley says in the five-minute video clip [Below] that he wanted "to put an end to all the rumours and speculation, and just say it, tell you guys," adding "is it a big deal? I don't think so."
Daley won the 10-metre platform gold at the 2009 world championships when he was 15 and won a Bronze Medal in the same category-event in London during the 2012 games.
Edward Lord, chairman of the UK's Amateur Swimming Association, told the BBC
"To be one of the first British Olympic athletes to come out is very brave. We must all support Tom in taking this incredibly courageous step." [/font]
Lord also noted that Sports are very difficult area, very slowly moving in recognition of gay and lesbian sexuality.
"Coming out is not risk free but I hope that what Tom Daley has done will lead to a good outcome for him and say to people it is good to do this."[/font]
He said he hoped it would "be a signal not just to other sportspeople but to all young people that you can be open about your sexuality, even in a very public environment."[/font]
He added: "I am very proud of Tom"[/font]
In his video Daley spoke about his father Rob, who had died of cancer aged 40 in 2011
[His father had always said to him] "As long as you are happy, I'm happy." He added: "My mum has been so supportive as well."[/font]
Daley commented that there were "mixed opinions" from some friends and family when he told them that he was making the announcement.
"Lots of them did not believe it," he said. "Lots of them wanted me to keep it quiet. I didn't want to get my words twisted. I wanted to put an end to all the rumours and speculation, and just say it and tell you guys.[/font]
It's what I want to do.My friends and family are always there to support me and I hope you guys can be too."[/font]
He then spoke about his future plans to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil,
"I mean I'm still Tom, I still want to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain. I am still as motivated as ever to do that. It would be great to have you guys on that journey, too."[/font]
Reaction to Daley's announcement was met with positive response from regular folks as well as celebrities.
CNN anchor and Brit-expat Piers Morgan tweeted: "@TomDaley1994 just made it 100 times easier for confused young gay men to come out and lead open, happier lives - good for him."
UK LGBTQ equality rights group StonewallUK tweeted: "Moving and inspiring video from @TomDaley1994. A role model for thousands of other young people."
Paul Stenning, a self-employed website designer said,
"He has not come out as "bi" or "gay" or anything. He has not used labels, he has said he is in a relationship with a guy. I admire his honesty and courage. Maybe he doesn't see the need for labels, or maybe he is not sure at this stage.[/font]
[...] Good for you Tom, and I wish you a long and happy relationship with whoever the lucky guy is. And thank you for doing your bit to show to other young people that this really isn't such a big deal now."[/font]