March 2, 2024

Tom Daley returns to diving after epiphany at U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum

Four-time Olympic medalist Tom Daley is returning to diving after two years off, spurred by a tearful moment at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

“Paris 2024 is definitely a goal,” the 29-year-old Brit said in a YouTube video. “I don’t know if it’s going to be possible, but you never say never.”

Daley said he was retired “in theory” when he recently visited Colorado Springs with son Robbie, who turned 5 in June. Daley was surprised to see a sign that labeled it “Olympic City” in the U.S. because. It’s home to an Olympic and Paralympic training center and the headquarters for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

While there, Daley took Robbie to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. They ran on a track and played a virtual skiing video game. They also went into a room and watched an inspirational Olympic video.

“The video started, and I wept. I couldn’t control myself,” Daley said. “Coming out of that museum, something changed in me where I don’t think I was ready to be done.”

Robbie also told him, “I want to see you dive at the Olympics.” Daley’s family was not in attendance at the Tokyo Games, where he won his first gold medal, since spectators weren’t allowed due to COVID-19 measures.

“That has kind of lit a new flame and fire inside me to want to see where this goes,” Daley said of his son’s desire.

Daley, who is based in California and splits time in Britain, said he doesn’t know if he will be able to dive “half-decently” again and didn’t commit to a 2024 Olympic bid — yet.

But he wants to set an example to both of his sons — Robbie and Phoenix, born in March — “about working hard at something that you love.”

“I don’t know where this is going to go,” he said. “I’ve not been ready to let go of diving yet. So, the journey begins.”

Daley made his Olympic debut in 2008 at age 14, placing seventh as the youngest British athlete across all sports at the Beijing Games.

After winning the 2009 World title, Daley entered the 2012 London Games as one of the host nation’s biggest stars.

He led the platform final by a scant 15 hundredths of a point going into the sixth and last round on the penultimate day of the Games. He earned one 10, but was surpassed by American David Boudia and Chinese Qiu Bo, neither of whom had any 10s, but both had a higher degree of difficulty dive.

In Rio in 2016, Daley shockingly was eliminated in the platform semifinals in 18th place.

He rebounded to win the 2017 World title.

In the Tokyo synchro platform, Daley and Matty Lee upset the reigning world champions from China by a mere 1.13 points, ultimately denying China a sweep of all of the diving gold medals.

Daley then took bronze in the individual platform for a second time in what was his most recent competition.

In between that synchro gold and another platform bronze, Daley generated buzz by knitting from the stands while attending other diving events. He published a book about knitting in 2022.

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