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This Olympic diver finds knitting therapeutic

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published May 04, 2021 5:00 am

By the time this is published, Tom Daley and his Great Britain teammates would already be in Tokyo to prepare for the Olympics.

This is the fourth Olympics for the popular British diver, who made his debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the age of 14. Daley was Britains youngest competitor and the youngest from any nation to compete in the finals.

He was 13 years old when he bagged his first European Championships gold medal in the 10-meter platform in Holland (Britains youngest ever European gold medalist in diving).

Since that incredible dive, Tom has won a total of 11 World, Commonwealth and European Championship gold medals, four silvers and two bronzes. He won an Olympic bronze in 2012 for the 10-meter platform and a bronze in Rio de Janeiro for the 10-meter synchronized event. 

Daley was scouted for a competitive diving team when he was eight years old. He competed and won in the National Novice Championships in 2003.

By 2004, he held the British Championship title for his age group for the one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard and platform dives.

This YouTube vlogger is quite charming and entertaining. His video on 5 Lessons From Lockdown has recurring themes: Family, Knitting, Workouts, Diving and Relationship.

While the global pandemic is an unfortunate event, Daley said that he still has five great takeaways from the lockdown. First, the quarantine blessed him with loads of family time. 

Year 2020 was supposed to be an Olympic year, which means a lot of traveling and training. But the time I got to spend with my family has been very special. Being with my son Robbie 24/7 allowed me to enjoy little things with him and watch all the developments. We really bonded as a family unit. We were so happy in lockdown together, Tom said.

Second, it allowed him to enjoy other types of workouts, including stretching and mobility exercises. Having time to spend on my body, training smart, spending time with recovery and mobility, improving performance and working on preventing injuries as I compete at an older age (26) is something I really enjoy, he added. 

Third, he developed an obsession with knitting. He would knit, while on the train or during training down times. Tom made scarves, socks, ponchos, blankets, hats, cuddly toys, sweaters, dresses.

Knitting really calms me down. Its therapeutic. Its like active resting. Theres something about it that I absolutely love, he gushed.

Tom Daley’s most important takeaway from this lockdown is perspective on what matters most and not taking things for granted. And that is his family. He loves diving and will compete passionately, but he is first and foremost “a father, a husband and a son.” 

His fourth takeaway is date night. He said that he would take turns preparing meals with husband Dustin Lance Black (an Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, who is 20 years older). They would eat dinner at 5:30 p.m. with their four-year-old son Robbie. But on Fridays, they got to enjoy a home dinner date after tucking Robbie into bed.

However, Toms most important takeaway from this lockdown is perspective on what matters most and not taking things for granted. And that is his family. He loves diving and will compete passionately, but he is first and foremost a father, a husband and a son.” 

Tom had to train hard during quarantine, but enjoyed it immensely. Through his YouTube channel Daley Workout, the Olympian shares his various workout routines ranging from six minutes to 30 minutes that do not require special equipment.

As an added attraction, he is normally shirtless in the videos just like his magazine covers.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tom Daley (@tomdaley)

One of the highlights of the "Daley Workout" is the “26 Olympian Challenge” where 26 athletes lead one-minute segments for a complete full-body workout.

Each of the 26 Olympians selected an exercise beneficial for the physical requirements of their sport. Rest periods are incorporated as each athlete introduced themselves and the charities they support. So basically it’s a 26-minute workout with 26 different 45-second exercises and 15 seconds of rest between exercises.

All other workout videos are led by Tom. There are six-minute workouts for the arms, core and abs. There are also yoga flows, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), skipping rope workout, suspension training, diving specific exercises, stretching, cardio and core, as well as parkour, which he said he excelled in and is how he got into diving.

Banner image from Tom Daley’s Instagram account.