The biggest story about the Tokyo Olympics being officially postponed until 2021 is the safety of the athletes and spectators. This is a necessary decision to ensure that no one attending the Games will put themselves in danger of being exposed to the coronavirus.
Way down on the list of priorities is how the postponement is going to affect the careers of the athletes themselves.
Tom Daley knows this as well. And as he stated on a new Instagram post, he supports the decision to postpone the Games and understands that public health must take first priority.
While the Tokyo Games represented another shot at Daley’s lifelong goal of Olympic gold, he’s made his peace with putting that goal on pause for another year to ensure that everyone attending will be safe.
The Tokyo Olympics had been at the forefront of Daley’s mind ever since his experience at the Rio 2016 Games. Even though he won bronze in the 10-meter synchro, his performance in the individual event was a stark disappointment as he finished in last place during the semi-final round and missed the finals entirely.
Daley expressed how this weighed heavily on his mind in a reflective vlog posted at the close of the 2016 Olympics:
“In the semi-final, I was completely heartbroken to have not made the final and given the chance to actually go for gold and achieve my dream of becoming an Olympic champion.
“And it was one of the toughest experiences for me to be able to get over because of the hard work that I’ve been able to put into the four years of training. When it comes to the hours of cardio, the hours in the gym, the hours doing weights, the hours diving, all of that kind of stuff... It’s really hard to accept that I wasn’t able to make the final...”
From that moment forward, Tokyo was going to be Daley’s chance to redeem himself and finally take the next step towards claiming that elusive Olympic gold medal. But as his Instagram post noted, waiting an extra year to accomplish that goal is “well worth the sacrifice” during this international emergency.
Daley vowed “to work his tail off” in order to keep his body in top shape. It’s clear that his sense of what’s really important is already there.