Tom Daley reveals that he nearly quit diving after the 2012 Olympics
Tom Daley has opened up in a new interview about how he nearly quit diving after the London 2012 Olympics.
The Olympian also opened up again about being at the receiving end of bullying at school.
He said he thought he would never compete again after being treated for post traumatic stress disorder after the 2012 Olympics.
In the new interview with the Times, he said: “After 2012 I had a rough time getting back into training. I lost motivation. I thought I might not want to do diving any more, not go to another Olympics. I wanted to go out and be a normal teenager.
“I saw a sports psychologist and had treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder from when I had to do the re-dive in London. My instant reaction was that I just didn’t want to go back up there.
“I wanted the referee to say no dive, but he ordered a re-dive. I was the most terrified I’ve ever been in my life, thinking I could lose it again in front of 18,000 people.
“I just couldn’t do that dive again after that. I kept seeing the flashing cameras. I had injuries. I would do the minimum in training; I was getting worse and worse. My coach told me to take time off and I travelled for eight weeks. That was the best thing I could have done.”
Of being bullied at Eggbuckland Community College, before changing schools to go to Plymouth College, he said: “I always thought people called me gay just because that’s what you do.
“I don’t think it was linked to my sexuality. It happens all the time to everyone at school.
“If someone doesn’t give you a bit of their chocolate bar, you say, ‘Oh, don’t be gay.’ It’s not used to attack you.
“It’s the same with people on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. It doesn’t really bother me. I’m quite thick-skinned.”
The diver also opened up about his relationship with producer Dustin Lance Black, saying: “My mum had no idea. It was just a random conversation. We were having a barbecue at my house, Lance was making burgers and I was in the kitchen.
“I said to Mum, ‘What do you think of Lance?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, he’s great. He makes great burgers.’ So I told her I was in a relationship with him.
“She said, ‘Like a gay relationship?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And she said, ‘Oh … all right.’
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“She had no idea, despite the fact I’d brought this guy home for the weekend. I was lucky. It was so easy, and you hear some horror stories.”
Adding: “Lance is the reason I am still diving.
“In March 2013 I was at my all-time low and didn’t want to do it any more. Then I met him and thought, ‘This guy won’t want to be with me unless I’m successful at what I do.’
“I felt happy all of a sudden. Nothing seemed confusing any more. He is a massive, massive support for me.
“I’m really excited now that the Olympics are close. That final is a scary thought. Nothing you’ve done in the four years before matters. Your dreams are either made or broken.
“I scored 570 points at the European Championships and that would have won me gold in London. I’m pretty sure the only people to score 570 this year are me and the Chinese. In my event, the Chinese haven’t won the last two Olympics, so I’m going for the hat-trick.”