Men’s 10m Platform Diving preliminaries are beginning late this evening at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
And while a sport populated with elite athletes in speedos means every diver is watchable, there are three specific athletes LGBTQ people may want to keep an eye on: Tom Daley, Jordan Windle and Timo Barthel.
Barthel is diving for Germany and does not classify himself as gay or straight but simply identifies as “human.”
As he explained to Outsports, “Human is human. It doesn’t matter which side you [are] attracted to and it doesn’t matter which skin color you have. Human is human. All of our blood is red.”
Even though he rejects traditional labels for himself, Barthel has expressed his support for the LGBTQ community. He’s added rainbow emojis and #LGBTQ hashtags to his social media posts and has uploaded a picture of himself in a Pride shirt to Instagram.
Windle, meanwhile, is one of the most prominent straight allies in the United States delegation. He was adopted from Cambodia at 18 months, and his adoptive father, Jerry, is gay.
Jordan has since become a prominent LGBTQ rights advocate, and he and Jerry co-authored a children’s book about his experience called “An Orphan No More.”
In addition, Windle has contributed to the It Gets Better campaign and was mentored from an early age by gay diving legend Greg Louganis—to the point where he was nicknamed “The Little Louganis.”
By now Daley needs no introduction. He’s one of the best and most important stories of the Tokyo Games after winning his first gold medal in Men’s Synchro with diving partner Matty Lee and inspiring millions by declaring, “I feel incredibly proud to say I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion.”
It will be fascinating to see Daley perform without the pressure of needing to win that elusive gold medal. He’s essentially competing in the bonus round during the Individual event.
In the meantime, he’s been knitting up a storm (including a gold medal case and a Tokyo Olympics cardigan) and making TikToks to give us an insight into what the infamous box of Olympic Village condoms looks like.
LGBTQ fans will get a chance to see all three compete late tonight. And if all goes well, we’ll hopefully get to see them in the semis and finals the next day.