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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Management Accountant

£30-35k + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Management Accoun...

UI Designer / UX Designer

£40 - 60k + Amazing Benefits: Guru Careers: A UI Designer / UX Designer is nee...

SEO Manager / SEO Expert / Head of Search

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: An SEO Manager / SEO Expert is needed to join an inno...

Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?