Sport on TV: Daley deeply embarrassed, yet it's much darker for black belt

There aren't many similarities between Tom Daley and Tiger Woods, apart from their sheer talent, and long may it stay that way. True, the 15-year-old pubescent prodigy may find his mind drifting off from his training to think dirty thoughts – he does spend all day with hardly any clothes on, after all – but he must sincerely hope that his father doesn't come back to haunt him from beyond the grave.

On Olympic Dreams (BBC1, Tuesday), Daley has a teenage cringeing embarrassment at his dad's antics down to a tee, culminating in the moment when Rob showed up at the press conference after Tom won a World Championship gold medal last year and insisted on having a cuddle. "Not cool, at all. Not cool."

Rob pulled him out of school after his classmates starting calling him things like "diver boy" and "Speedo boy", as well as "throwing paper and emptying pencil cases". And then there's his thunderous but utterly tuneless renditions of the national anthem.

He has seen every dive Tom has done since his first training session, but four years ago he was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour and he thought he would never get to see his son perform at the Olympics.

Fortunately, Tom got there early, aged 14, since when his father has recovered. To think it was Daley's synchronised diving partner Blake Aldridge who mucked it all up in Beijing by ringing his own mother in the middle of the competition. Daley must have hoped that a big hole would open up for him to dive into.

He is now cocooned in a private school and says things like "It doesn't feel like it's happening to me, it's happening to another Tom". But the Olympic dream is rather more of a nightmare for little-known aspiring judoist Ashley McKenzie. When we meet him, he is serving a ban for "drinking, breaking curfews, being rude and smoking". Dream on, Tom.

Ashley was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and his medication is banned by the International Olympic Committee, but the British amateur governing body give him special dispensation to keep taking it for the national trials. He decides not to take the risk and gives up the pills.

Then in the final of the trials, "he got kicked in the nuts and booed by an entire crowd", according to his mum. "What do you want from him?" He loses, flicks the finger at the judges and is disqualified.

The British Judo Association keep reaching out to him, and include him in their World Cup squad as the most improved junior at their academy. But the day before the match, his single mum has to throw his brother out of the house.

McKenzie loses in the first round but manages to keep his temper. He still has a fighting chance but he has a horde of demons to grapple with as his male role models disappear into the distance.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Charter Selection: Graphic Designer, Guildford

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Charter Selection: This renowned and well establish...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas