Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
TV news station CNN has interviewed Tom Daley, the diver who hit the international spotlight in 2008 as Great Britain’s youngest competitor at the Olympic Game. He talks about the fear he feels when walking towards the diving board, his early memories of diving, and his ambitions for Rio 2016.
Daley, who has won three Commonwealth medals and an Olympic Bronze, said: ‘I get scared every single time I am on the platform. Not scared like worried scared, but as an adrenaline fuelled thing.’ He says this adrenaline is necessary: ‘You have to have that because if you aren’t a little bit nervous and little bit pumped up then that’s when you are not sharp and you are going to make mistakes.’
I hit my head on the board… There was lots of blood in the pool – it looked a little bit like a shark attack
He began diving aged seven, after seeing people somersault from the board at his local pool. He tells the programme, ‘Other than when I first started, the big standout memory for me was when I hit my head on the board… There was lots of blood in the pool – it looked a little bit like a shark attack, and that’s why I’ve got that scar there on my forehead now.’
‘Yes, the training is hard and you have to do lots of work in the gym and lots of work in the pool,’ he says. ‘But it’s actually really [mentally] draining because of the amount of time you have to think, and what you have to think about when you are on the end of the board – you have to make split-second decisions.
‘My dad took me to every single training session… he was always there flying his massive big Union Jack flag in the stands and I could know that he was there. It was really tough going to competitions after he passed away in 2011, and not seeing the flag there, but it gave me the extra motivation because I really wanted to make him proud and go out there and win an Olympic medal.’
Daley, who revealed that he is gay by posting a video on his YouTube channel in 2013, says that the revelation was a release: ‘If anything it was a bonus because it took a lot of weight off my shoulders and I was able to compete and train as normal.’
He has more than 2.5m followers on Twitter, and says of social media: ‘I have grown up doing it, so it’s natural to me to engage with people on social networks … I don’t think about it, I just do it.’
I want to go into that competition with absolutely no regrets, in the best shape of my life, in the best possible position to try to win that Olympic gold medal
Looking ahead, Daley said: ‘My ultimate goal, dream, ambition whatever you want to call it is to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016. It’s what every athlete works towards and it’s what I am fighting for every single day in the gym, in the pool. I want to go into that competition with absolutely no regrets, in the best shape of my life, in the best possible position to try to win that Olympic gold medal.
I am going to take lots of time off to eat lots of cheesecake, eat lots of chips and probably put on a bit of weight!
‘Whatever happens after that happens after that, but all I know is that I am going to take lots of time off to eat lots of cheesecake, eat lots of chips and probably put on a bit of weight!’
Thanks to CNN / ‘Human To Hero’.
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