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Tom Daley struggled to grieve father’s death and thinks he’d be happy he came out

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Tom Daley has admitted that he never fully grieved his father’s death after he passed away in 2011.

The Olympic diver’s father Rob died aged 40 2011 of a brain tumour and the athlete performing at London 2012 had been their shared dream.

On Thursday’s This Morning Tom detailed how he struggled to come to terms with his father’s death but thinks he’d be happy he came out as gay in 2013.

In a candid chat with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield he said: “I found it really difficult to process that I was never going to see him again, and although I knew he was sick and was going to pass away at some point, when it actually happened it was so horrible to think about I couldn’t let it sink in that he wasn’t going to see me in London 2012 because it was something we had always dreamed of doing together. So it was a very challenging thing to try and overcome.”

Tom also told how his dad had “the best seats in the house” during the Olympics nine years ago.



Tom detailed how he struggled to come to terms with his father's death
Tom detailed how he struggled to come to terms with his father’s death

“We buried some of his ashes under the tile of the bottom of the platform so that I could put my drinks bottle there – and I could touch it every time I was about to perform. So he had the best seat in the house in the end.”

In Tokyo 2020 Tom won his first gold medal alongside Matty Lee in the men’s synchronised 10m platform final.

And he told how his medal success would be something which he hoped would have made his dad “extremely proud”.

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The Olympic diver's father Rob died aged 40 2011 of a brain tumour
The Olympic diver’s father Rob died aged 40 2011 of a brain tumour

He said: “It’s always been my dream. I started diving when I was seven, so I’ve been diving for twenty years, so it’s been almost my whole life.

“I valued how well I was doing in life by how well I was doing at diving and over the years I always thought I could [achieve gold] but it’s going to be really tough.”

The athlete also opened up about coming out as gay in 2013 – and how some of his family were not understanding.



Tom also told how his dad had 'the best seats in the house' during the Olympics nine years ago.
Tom also told how his dad had ‘the best seats in the house’ during the Olympics nine years ago.

Tom said: “I think everyone has a slightly different reaction when you are finally able to come out and be honest to share your whole self to people – and I think some people take a bit more extra time to understand it and let it sink in.

And he believes that his dad would have been accepting of his news.

He said: “My dad would’ve been happy that I was happy. I think the thing that he would’ve been most upset about – if he was upset – was that I couldn’t share it with him from the very first moment that I ever thought about it because me and my dad were good friends.”

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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