Tom Daley wearing his team kit and diving medal from the London 2012 Olympics

1994 –

“You can only do so much in the gym or pool. 70% of it is physical, but the final 30% is down to the mental capacity to actually control what you can do in competition.”

When Tom Daley was just 15, he became a world champion. Three years later, he won a bronze medal for diving at the 2012 Olympics. Even though Tom’s life looked great from the outside, he was at an all-time low. He was being bullied at school and in the media. Tom decided he needed to take charge of his life. He announced he was in love with a man and said, “I’ve never been happier.” Since then, Tom’s never looked back. He won gold in 2021 in his 4th Olympics. When things got dark in his life, Tom found a way to bring back the light.

When things get tough, and you feel like the world wants you to be someone you are not, are you able to stay true to who you are?

Tom realised that when he was true to himself, he grew as a person, and he finds ways to help others to grow. One of our Amazing People, Alan Turing, had a tough time at school, made worse when his only friend died of tuberculosis. Unlike Tom, Alan could not be true to himself as homosexuality was illegal at the time he lived. Discover his story on the site.

Actively being an ally or friend to someone who is being bullied is a great thing to do. Reaching out to befriend someone who’s having a hard time demonstrates great strength of character – it takes courage and kindness. It can also help change someone’s life.

Find out about other LGBT+ achievers in our free resource: Primary PDF | Secondary PDF

Photo: Jim Thurston, CC BY-SA 2.0