Tom Daley: Fiance Dustin Lance Black is the reason I did not quit diving


Olympic champion Tom Daley has said his fiance Dustin Lance Black is the reason he is still diving.

The young athlete, who will compete for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said he came very close to quitting the sport completely three years ago.

Tom Daley competing in the Olympics in 2012
Tom Daley competing in the Olympics in 2012 (Mark J Terrill/AP)

Tom won bronze in the 2012 London Olympics in the men's 10m platform, but he was haunted by a crucial twist dive that had gone wrong. He lost the dive in mid-air after being distracted by camera flashes, and had to retake it.

The 22-year-old told The Times magazine: "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."

In the aftermath, he sought treatment with a sports psychologist for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tom Daley
On the medal podium (Andrew Milligan/PA)

"I kept seeing the flashing cameras," he said.

"I had injuries. I would do the minimum in training; I was getting worse and worse."

He took time off, travelled - and met LGBT activist and Oscar-winning screenwriter Lance, 42, who gave him new impetus.

Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black are dating
Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black are engaged (Ian West/PA)

Tom explained: "Lance is the reason I am still diving. Diving isn't a nine-to-five job where you can go home and have a glass of wine. It's an intense but short-lived career.

"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."

The pair revealed their engagement with a traditional wedding announcement in The Times in October 2015, two years after Tom came out to his fans in a YouTube video.

Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black's wedding notice in The Times
The wedding notice in The Times (PA)

Both had rings ready to propose, but it was Tom who popped the question.

He explained: "I just asked him in the spare room in our flat. I had the ring box in my underwear. It was probably the least glamorous proposal imaginable.

"I got down on one knee and asked, but he left me hanging. Then he said, 'Hang on a second', and went and got his ring from his bag and said, 'I was going to do that today!'.

"So I beat him to it, and a little bit of my competitive edge came out."