An Olympic-Medal Winner Calmly Comes Out on YouTube

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 2 2013 10:34 AM

A British Olympic-Medal Winner Calmly Comes Out

That's Tom Daley, a popular British Olympic diver who won bronze at the 2012 London games. "In spring this year my life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great," the 19-year-old Rio hopeful says in the clip he posted online this morning. "That someone is a guy."

Daley's largely an unknown on this side of the Atlantic where the vast majority of us can't name a single member of the U.S. Olympic diving team let alone anyone competing under a foreign flag. But Daley's star burns quite a bitter brighter over in Great Britain, partly because he delivered a bronze for the home country in 2012 and partly because Britain simply has fewer international athletes to divide its attention among. (When I was living there during the 2000 games, I distinctly remember live coverage of Team GB's badminton mixed doubles squad's unlikely run to the bronze medal.)

Advertisement

I don't know enough about the current state of the British sporting world to weigh in on whether Daley deserves to be called a sporting "star," as many of today's write-ups are billing him. But he was already famous enough to be the focus of tabloid speculation about his sexuality and, according to the Telegraph, he's now earned the temporary title of the "most prominent British sportsman ever to come out." His decision to come out as bisexual ("I still fancy girls," he notes) is all the more noteworthy given the current focus on Winter Games-hosting Russia and the government's less-than-welcoming attitude toward gay athletes.

"In an ideal world I wouldn't be doing this video—because it shouldn't matter," Daley says in the video, before explaining that he felt it necessary to set the record straight after he says the Daily Mirror misquoted him as claiming that he is "not gay."

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Nobody Knows How Many Gay Married Couples Live in America—Not Even the Census Bureau

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 7:46 PM Azealia Banks’ New Single Is Her Best in Years
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.