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Tom Daley Reveals He Was Hopitalised With Covid Months Before The Tokyo Olympics

by : Cameron Frew on : 02 Oct 2021 13:02
Tom Daley Reveals He Was Hopitalised With Covid Months Before The Tokyo OlympicsAlamy

Just months before Tom Daley won his first Olympic gold medal, he was hospitalised with COVID-19. 

The 27-year-old’s Tokyo haul was a highlight of this year’s games, coming 13 years after he first stepped onto the diving platform in Beijing 2008. He emerged with a gold medal in the men’s synchronised 10m platform, alongside fellow diver Matty Lee, and bronze in the men’s 10m platform, beaten by China’s Cao Yuan and Yang Jian.

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Afterwards, Daley said he was going home to chill out with a ‘couple of margaritas’ – however, the full extent of his path to the Olympics has been revealed in a new interview.

Tom Daley (PA Images)PA Images

Speaking with The Times, Daley discussed the lead-up to the games and the aftermath; more specifically, how he became a meme for his poolside knitting. On using his profile for LGBTQ+ activism, he also said, ‘Life’s too short to discriminate. The pandemic, being married, having a kid… I don’t care what other people think. I just want to fight for what I believe in.’

During the interview, Daley revealed he’d been hospitalised with coronavirus seven months before the Olympics.

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He felt ill in January, suffering headaches and dizziness he believed to be stemming from a mild concussion from training. However, a fever and aches soon followed, leaving the athlete feeling faint and struggling to walk down stairs.

Tom Daley mid-dive at the Olympics. (PA Images)PA Images

Lateral flow tests proved negative, so he went for a PCR test, which came up positive. Shortly after, given concerns over his past experience with pneumonia, Daley was hospitalised. X-rays showed blotches in his lungs, and he stayed in hospital for 10 hours before heading home.

‘You can’t let your competitors think that they’ve got one up on you. I wanted them to think that I was training as hard as them. I spent the first three months of this year not diving, only using the power of visualisation – just imagining myself doing the dives day in, day out,’ he said, as he’d never discussed it prior to the games.

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Daley may be a gold medal winner, but he suspects there’s been a 5% hit to his fitness. ‘I would consider myself to be quite a healthy person, but COVID doesn’t discriminate at all,’ he added.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Sport, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Now, Olympic Games, Olympics, Tokyo 2020, Tom Daley

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The Times
  1. The Times

    Tom Daley’s Covid ordeal: ‘My oxygen levels were dropping’