Tom Daley wore a Pride badge to accept a medal at a competition in Russia, defying the country’s harsh stance on LGBT rights.
On Sunday, Daley won silver in the Diving World Series with his partner Grace Reid, marking their fourth successive silver medal in the event.
The event was held at the Aquatics Palace in Kazan, Russia.
In his Instagram story, the 23-year-old Brit showed off the bold rainbow-coloured accessory he had worn on the podium: a large badge on his lapel with the word “Pride” written on it.
“Another silver here in Russia! Representing on the podium,” Daley wrote, captioning the post with the rainbow flag and Russian flag emojis as he held up his medal.
It seems Daley was making good on his vow to campaign for LGBT rights in Russia, which has seen hate crimes against LGBT double since the introduction of a law banning “gay propaganda.”
The celebrity diver spoke out after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast – saying he wished that every diver, whichever country they were from and whatever their sexuality, could have the same freedoms that he does.
The father-to-be, who is married to Hollywood filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, used the attention of his fourth Games title to call on the Commonwealth Games Federation to do more to pressure the Commonwealth nations where homosexuality remains illegal.
He said: “Coming to the Gold Coast and being able to live as an openly gay man is really important.
“You want to feel comfortable in who you are when you are standing on that diving board, and for 37 Commonwealth countries that are here participating that is not the case.
“I feel with the Commonwealth, we can really help push some of the other nations to relax their laws on anti-gay stuff.”
The diver also spoke about competing in countries where being gay is not accepted, as an openly gay man.
He said: “Going to Russia can be scary – you’ve got to compete in front of lots of people who know I’ve got a husband.
“You have to face those things and try and make change.”
36 of 53 member states still outlaw gay sex, a figure that fell from 37 after Trinidad and Tobago legalised the practice in April.
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Speaking to BBC journalist Nick Robinson in April, Daley said he intended to maintain his campaigning when competing in Russia.
“I think the one thing that is the most powerful thing to do is go and compete and do the best I can, and just be who I am and compete at the highest level that I can,” Daley said.
“Speaking out can only do so much, but for me going there competing is a message that I want to urge other LGBT people to go and compete in Russia. It doesn’t matter about our sexual orientation.”
The athlete, who recently held an adorable baby shower, has said that becoming a father inspires him to be more forthright in his activism.
“You want your child to grow up having an equal opportunity as everyone else that is born, whether they’re gay, straight, male, female, whatever religion you are, whatever ethnicity you are,” he said.
“I think that everyone should have the equal opportunity to do the best you can.”
Daley continued: “It changes your perspective on so many different levels. I was on the way home from Australia and there was turbulence, and normally I’m completely fine but I thought: ‘I’ve got a little child to look after, I can’t die!’
“The way you think about the world changes so dramatically.”