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Tom Daley reveals reason he U-turned on retirement before Paris Olympics

Tom Daley returned to competitive action at the British National Diving Cup last December

Ben Fleming
Wednesday 31 January 2024 17:47 GMT
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Tom Daley and Matty Lee celebrate gold in synchronised10m diving

Tom Daley has revealed the message from his son that prompted his surprise comeback ahead of this summer’s Paris Olympics.

Daley stepped away from the sport after he ended his long wait for an Olympic gold in the men’s synchronised 10m platform event at Tokyo 2020. The 29-year-old also won bronze in the men’s 10m platform in Japan to go with his bronze medals in the 2012 platform event and 2016 synchronised event.

The Brit passed up on the opportunity to return at the World Championships in 2023, seemingly confirming his retirement from the sport, but said a family visit to the Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado last summer with his son Robbie relit the fire in his belly and forced him out of retirement.

“I was sitting down there and being like: ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t think I’m ready for this.’ I was crying. I looked at over at Lance [Daley’s husband]. And Lance looked at me and went: ‘Oh, no, here we go’, he recounted in an interview with The Guardian.

“Robbie said to me at the time: ‘Papa, I want to see you dive at the Olympics.’ It was just that whole thing. There was just a lot that overwhelmed me at that point. But I just said: ‘You know what? I want to give it another shot.’”

Daley has reunited with coach Jane Figueiredo but will remain in the United States, where he currently lives, for the majority of his training. His return to competition came in December at the British National Diving Cup where he combined with Noah Williams to win 10m synchro gold.

Tom Daley returned to competitive action at the British National Diving Cup last December (Getty Images)

“It is nice to be back and get that adrenaline going again,” Daley said at the time after winning gold.

“It felt really weird to come back, I felt quite shy in a way to get back into it, because I had been part of that team for so long, and then to step out and see how things had changed, it felt weird and different.

“But it is really nice to be back. I feel really happy, I’m enjoying it and that’s the main thing.”

Should Daley reach the Paris Olympics next summer, it would be his fifth Olympic Games, a record for a British diver.

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