Chatting with world champion diver Tom Daley off the platform

World champion diver Tom Daley, a 23-year-old Brit, is at the top of his game. In July, he won his second FINA World Championship for the 10-metre platform title, at the competition in Budapest.

“Prince of the Platform,” some headlines have dubbed him. He’s been internationally known in the sporting world since representing Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He was just 14-years-old – the youngest in the entire Olympic Games to make it to a final event. 

In 2009, Daley won the FINA World Championship in the individual 10-metres event at the age of 15. He was the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the same event.

Daley also competes in synchronized and team events. He shares the 2015 mixed team World title, the 2016 Olympic bronze for the men's synchronized 10 metre platform, and the 2017 World silver in the mixed 3 metre springboard synchronized event. These are just a partial list of his diving medals and records.

His athletic success and boyishly good looks has translated to mainstream celebrity for Daley. He was in a British reality show called Splash! for its two-season run on ITV network. It was a diving reality TV show in which Daley mentored celebrities in a diving competition. 

Daley also has a couple of books for sale about the story of his life, as well as a recipe book sharing his favorite recipes.

I was happy to meet Tom when he and his husband, Dustin Lance Black, came to Hawaii to participate in the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, where part of Black’s mini-series When We Rise screened to a full house. They are a beautiful and brilliant couple, each so successful in their own right. 

For years, so much has been made of Tom in the media, I thought I’d ask the probing questions readers really want to know. The following is my investigative report: 

Tom, what is your favorite color?

Teal.

What is your favorite animal?

Monkey. I don’t know why but I’ve always been obsessed with monkeys since I was a kid. I was scared to go away to competitions on my own as a kid so I told my parents I’d only do it if I could have a monkey as a pet. The next day I awoke and they gave me this cuddly toy monkey. Ever since, it’s been my lucky monkey.

For the Asian readers, what’s your blood type?

(Look of confusion)

It’s a thing in Asia.

I have no idea. I think it’s O?

What languages do you speak? I presume you’re at least bilingual since you’re European.

Besides English, I speak Spanish, and I’d like to learn Chinese. Diving in China is a big sport and so far I know a few words in Chinese.  

Tom was a – pun intended – sport for answering my silly questions. I’m certain the world will be seeing much more of this talented and sweet man in the years to come!

More personal insights from Tom Daley on his You Tube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/tvtomdaley.

Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black
Diane Ako