Tom Daley has always insisted that it is in Rio in four years' time that he will be at his peak, but London was never going to allow him to get away with that. A home Games needs home faces and Daley, having charmed the world but won nothing in Beijing, was one of the chosen few.
There are two sides to the story. There is Daley the athlete, then there is the broader interest in him, some of it maliciously directed, and amid it all the death of his father, Rob, last year. He admitted late on Saturday that at times it has come close to overwhelming him.
He had come into the Games in the form of his life, but the Daley rollercoaster still had a couple of perilous dips to ride out. His fourth place in partnership with Pete Waterfield in the 10m synchro was "devastating". When he returned to the pool on Friday, he squeezed into the semis (as did eventual winner David Boudia). On Saturday, as he was making his way to the pool, a volunteer gave him a bag of sweets. Weight has been an issue with Daley but, in need of a sugar rush, he ate the pick and mix.
He went into the final confidence restored. It was that, and a maturity that has been thrust upon him, that saw him appeal following his poor first dive. The referee backed his complaint about flash photography and Daley did the rest. "It was about time my family had some good news," said Daley. "Although it's a bronze, it's a gold for me. It's a symbol of the effort I've put in. All the pressure I've had on me has been overwhelming. I now have a bronze to show for it. In Rio, I might be able to change the colour."Reuse content