Tom Daley, the British diver who is openly gay, won the gold medal in the men’s 10-meter platform in stunning fashion Saturday at the the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Daley beat Rio 2016 Olympic champion Aisen Chen of China with a fabulous final dive, finishing with a score that would have won gold at the Olympics a year ago. After Chen’s final dive, the Chinese team was celebrating as if it had won the title, a fact that motivated Daley.
“When I saw Chen do his last dive, I saw the Chinese team cheering and celebrating as if they had won,” Daley told the Guardian. “And I was like ’OK, you want to play that game? I’m going to show you what I can do too.’
“It turned me into a competitive animal. I was like ’OK, this is fun — this is what we’ve all been working for. Let the best man win’. It was a weird competitive feeling. It was like I had blinkers on.”
Daley’s win was a bit of redemption after his disastrous Olympics last year, where he led after the first day of diving but failed to qualify for the finals.
"An Olympic gold is the one thing I'm yet to win and it's my dream," he told the BBC.
Daley’s win was witnessed by his mom and by his husband, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. After the win, Daley tweeted out his next plan:
The fact the the media regularly mention Daley’s marriage to a man shows how powerful legalized same-sex marriage is and is a sea-change from nine years ago when NBC failed to acknowledge that Olympic gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham was openly gay and had his boyfriend in the stands cheering him on.
Clive Rose of Getty Images took some great shots of Daley’s win in Budapest, including one of his mom and Black cheering.