Gay Olympian Tom Bosworth broke down and cried while thanking his supporters in an emotional video he posted following the men’s 20km walk.
After watching it, you’ll be crying, too.
Bosworth, who placed 25th in the race, said he was proud to finish — but apologized for his disappointing performance.
“I’m really, really sorry for letting you down,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough for your messages of support and good luck before the race. It means the world. I’m proud to be a double Olympian, I’m proud to have finished the race, because I wanted to stop. Nothing felt right, but no excuses here. I didn’t perform, and it’s not good enough.”
I want to thank you all for your support.— Tom Bosworth (@TomBosworth) August 5, 2021
Sport unites us, it brings us together and it’s overwhelming to see so many people who supported me today.
I have let myself and you all down, this is my job, this is what I give every day for.
I will be back I promise you that. pic.twitter.com/vlSmxmqwxS
Bosworth made his Olympics debut for Great Britain at Rio 2016, where he finished sixth in the 20k race walk. As an added bonus, Bosworth proposed to his boyfriend after the race.
The following year, he set a new world record in the 1-mile race walk. One month later, however, Bosworth was disqualified at the World Championships for technique infractions.
Leading up to Tokyo, Bosworth spoke openly about the disqualification’s impact on his mental health. He told our Cyd Zeigler he contemplated suicide.
“I was in that bubble of failure,” he said in 2019. “I was going out partying and I was pushing my family away. I was treating [my fiancé] Harry awfully. He’d seen me come from a very average athlete to winning races and competing at the highest level. And I treated him the worst of anybody. I didn’t realize how far away from me I was getting, how I was digging myself into some awful holes.”
Thankfully, Bosworth has escaped from his aforementioned hole, and is a proud two-time Olympian. The replies to his video are heartwarming, with more than 50 respondents (as of publication) offering their support.
“Sport is cruel, but I know what it takes to be at the front of races,” Bosworth said. “I’m going to hold my head up high, because I’m proud I finished that race.”
Tom you are so much more than 'an incredible athlete'... you're more than a race number or @TeamGB kit. Be proud of being you, pushing through an injury etc.its so important for you to see your worth beyond being an athlete... please reach out if you ever want a chat #proud— Rachel Morris MBE (@Rachel44Morris) August 5, 2021
Olympic athletes have been faced with challenging conditions in Tokyo, from mandatory quarantines to oppressive heat. Distance runners and race walkers are being housed in Sapporo, a city more than 500 miles from the capital.
Earlier this week, Bosworth described the food provided to athletes as “cold slop” in a series of now-deleted tweets.
We admire Bosworth for his resilience, honesty and penchant for keeping it real. Here’s to him racing again.
“I will work harder and be back better, faster and stronger in the future,” he said.
You can Tom Bosworth on Twitter here.