Tom Daley has opened up about his body image and his struggle with an eating disorder that he went through in 2012. He spoke to “The Guardian” about the pressure he has been under his entire career.
Olympic diving star, Tom Daley, has admitted he struggled to eat correctly when he was younger. The pressures of being an Olympic athlete often feels like more than one can handle, especially as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
However, he has also spoken out about how he has overcome all of the obstacles in his way and has become stronger because of all of the adversity he has faced.
Tom Daley of Team Great Britain poses with his gold medal on the 3rd day of the Tokyo Olympics, 2021 | Photo: Getty Images
Although Daley is only twenty-seven, his career had already made him a household name at the tender age of fourteen. This was when he participated in his first Olympic Games. By the time he was fifteen, he was a world champion diver.
Being in the spotlight was something Daley had never experienced before the Olympics, but something he had to get used to quickly as his career as a diver began truly taking off after his world championship title at the age of fifteen.
Tom Daley posing after the medal ceremony for the Men's 10m Platform Final, day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games | Photo: Getty Images
Daley decided in 2013 to come out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, which added to the pressure that he was already feeling with being a young, very famous, world champion diver.
He said it was “hammered” into him that he needed to lose weight and that as a diver who gets up on the board and becomes so vulnerable, it is difficult to be content with your body because people will always judge your body.
While Daley was told he was overweight and that his body was not in good shape for diving, it was not from the media or trolls on the internet but rather from his peers within the diving community.
He said he tried to ensure he lost weight by eating much less and then battled bulimia for a while in 2012. This, coupled with the pressure of the sport, was all too much for Daley, and he realized he needed to live a healthier lifestyle.
Daley has said he used to constantly weigh himself to ensure that he kept his weight down, but he has changed and is living a healthier life now and has a better relationship with food and his body image.
Daley has been an Olympic competitor for more than ten years now but had never won a gold medal until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is something he has been waiting a long time to achieve, and he is incredibly proud that he has finally done it.
He has said that while he doesn’t know whether he will be competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics, he is leaving the door open as he still has some time to decide.
All those who told Daley he needed to lose weight to be worthy of the sport have been proven wrong, as Daley has shown that being comfortable in your body, confident in your career, and happy in your personal life are the keys to success.
Daley is also known to have a knitting hobby and said he would love to have a successful knitwear business in the future, be an established TV show host, and have more children.
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