Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tasty Crushie Tuesday: Tom Daley

And he's officially 18 years old!!! Woot woot!!

Thomas Robert "Tom" Daley (born 21 May 1994) is an English diver who specializes in the 10 meter platform event and was the 2009 FINA World Champion in the individual event at the age of 15. He started diving at the age of seven and is a member of Plymouth Diving Club. He has made an impact in national and international competitions from age 9. He represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics where he was Britain's youngest competitor, the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest to participate in a final. In the first post-Rome 2009 World Championships edition of the FINA World Diving Rankings for the ten-metre platform, Daley reached a new career best ranking of number one. 

*  I placed a scrollbar on the info section about him for those who can't wait to check his pictures... 

He won two gold medals for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in the 10 metre synchro diving (with Max Brick) and the 10 m Individual Platform competition.

(more SIZZLING HOT photos after jump...)

Early career

Tom Daley's early diving heroes were Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie, who won gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games at the age of 13, and British diver Leon Taylor Daley was spotted by a coach, taking part in regular diving lessons, and was placed in a competitive squad in September 2002 His first competition was the National Novice Championships in April 2003 where he won a medal in the 8/9 year old boys' category In September 2003, he took part in an invitational event in Southampton where he won the 1 m, 3 m and platform events, and first made his mark on the wider audience Daley won his age group at the British Championships in the 1m springboard, the 3 m springboard, and platform in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

In June 2004, the month after his tenth birthday, he won the platform competition in the National Junior (under 18) group, making him the youngest winner of that event In 2005 Daley competed as a guest competitor in the Australian Elite Junior Nationals and placed first in platform and second in 3 m springboard in the 14-15 age group event He also competed in the 14-15 category at the 2005 Aachen Junior International, placing second in platform and third in 3 m springboard He met the qualification standard for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, but was not selected for the England team because of his age. In 2006, he was the under-18 British champion in platform and 3m springboard, and he placed second in the 10 m platform at the 2007 senior British Championships, which were held in December 2006.

International success


In January 2007, at the age of twelve, Daley was given a special dispensation to compete at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival The usual minimum age is fifteen Competing with a persistent thumb injury, Daley won the silver medal with synchro-partner Callum Johnstone in the 10-metre synchronised-diving final.

Later in 2007, he won the senior platform title at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) National Championships, the national championship for English divers. In 2007 he also began to compete on FINA's international diving circuit of Grand Prix and World Series events, twice finishing fourth in individual competition


In January 2008 Tom won the 10 m platform event at the British Championships to become the youngest winner of the senior British 10 m title. He also won the 10 m platform synchro title with new partner Blake Aldridge.

Two weeks later, Daley won his first medals on the FINA circuit, winning a bronze in the individual platform competition and a silver in synchro at the Madrid Grand Prix. Daley and Aldridge won bronze in synchro at the 2008 FINA Diving World Cup Their score was a British record and Daley became the youngest ever male medallist in a world diving event. Daley came seventh in the individual competition In March 2008, Daley became the youngest person to win a gold medal at the European Championships, held in Eindhoven. The previous youngest winner was the Scottish swimmer Ian Black, who won a European gold in 1958 at the age of 17.

Daley qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the individual 10 metre dive competition and, following the retirement of 2004 silver medallist Leon Taylor, in the 10 metre platform synchro competition It was initially claimed by the British media that in competing he would become the youngest-ever male British Olympian, until it was ascertained that Ken Lester, cox to the rowing pair at the 1960 Olympic Games, had been 13 years and 144 days old at the time. In the Olympic synchronised 10 metre platform competition, they placed 8th, while in the individual 10 metre platform competition he finished 7th.

A month after his appearance at the Olympics, Daley participated in the FINA Junior World Championships for the first time (being too young to enter before) He finished second in the category "B" platform competition (for 14- and 15-year-old boys) with 54960 points, between China's Qiu Bo (55185 points) and Wu Dongliang (47400 points)[18] He came second in the 3-metre springboard competition in the same category with 48525 points, sandwiched between the two Chinese divers, Wu Dongliang (51025 points) and Wang Peng (47040 points)

Daley won the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality award He is considered a medal prospect for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and is one of the British Olympians being tracked through the years leading up to London 2012 by the BBC television series Olympic Dreams By April 2008 he was on British Diving's list of funded divers.


In February 2009, Daley retained his individual British 10 m championship, setting a competition personal best score of 51755 points, 13345 points ahead of the second-placed diver He was unable to defend his 10m synchronized title, as his dive partner Blake Aldridge had been injured in a brawl at a nightclub several days before the championships and was unable to dive. In March 2009 he improved his personal best to 54070 in coming third at a Diving World Series event in China, and the following month he improved it to 54085 while finishing second at the World Series event in Sheffield.

During the Olympics Daley had a row with diving partner Blake Aldridge when the latter phoned his mother between rounds When Aldridge missed the British Championships because of the injury sustained in the nightclub incident, Daley's father said he'd like his son to have a different diving partner In April 2009 he started to dive with Max Brick, who is two years his senior, compared with the twelve year gap with Aldridge. The pair achieved a silver medal in the 10m synchronized event at Fort Lauderdale on 8 May 2009. Daley won the individual event in a new personal best of 55490, scoring a perfect set of seven 10s for one of his dives.

In the 2009 FINA World Championships, held in Rome, Daley unexpectedly won the individual platform title despite his lower tariff, with a score of 53985 points, when his opponents had poor final dives - Qiu Bo finished on 53220 points, Zhou Luxin on 53055. In the 10 m platform synchronized event at the World Championships, Daley and Brick finished in 9th place following an inconsistent series of dives by the new pairing.


In the February 2010 British Championships individual 10 m competition, Daley unveiled his 5255B dive (back two-and-a-half somersault, two-and-a-half twists) in competition for the first time, giving him a 36 tariff dive (reduced from 38 in FINAs' September 2009 DD tables) In this competition Daley finished in 2nd place, 4005 points behind Peter Waterfield.

In the March 2010 FINA Diving World Series event in Qingdao individual 10 m competition, Daley showcased his two new dives and finished in 4th place, 52035 points (his best score of the year).

In the first April 2010 FINA Diving World Series event held in Veracruz, Mexico, Daley failed to qualify for the final round of the individual 10 m competition, but in the second event held in the same venue three days later (to replace the Sheffield DWS event which was cancelled because of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallaj√∂kull), Daley finished in 4th place, with a score of 51970 points - his second highest score of the season (just 08 points away from bronze).

In August 2010 Daley attended the European Championships in BudapestHungary, intending to defend his individual 10m title. However, an injury to his triceps muscle in the 10m synchro competition forced his withdrawal from both the synchro and individual 10m competitions, and placed his participation in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in the following two weeks in doubt. It was later announced that Daley would dive in the 3m springboard but not in the 10m platform. Daley took part in the 3m springboard diving competition and finished in 9th place.

On 12 October 2010, Daley attended the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India and he, together with his teammate Max Brick, won the gold medal for Synchronized 10m Platform Competition The following day he also won gold in the 10m Individual Platform competition.

In November 2010, Daley was announced as one of the nominated sportsmen for both the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2010. He went on to win BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2010 for the third time in his career, and is the first person to receive this award three times.


For the 2011 season, Daley was paired in the synchronised competitions with 2004 Athens Olympic silver medallist Peter Waterfield in British Swimming's continuing efforts to find the best synchro pairing for the 2012 Olympics. At the 2011 National Cup, the British Championship was held in the new Southend Swimming and Diving Centre on 28–30 January and Daley came 2nd in the 3m springboard competition behind Jack Laugher and, together with Waterfield, won the 10m platform synchronised competition. The following day, Waterfield beat Daley to the individual 10m platform title for the second successive year, by 49425 points to 47235, with Max Brick third with 39980.

In the 2011 World Championships, held in ShanghaiChina, he was again paired with Waterfield in the 10m synchro event, however in the week before the competition Waterfield was struck by a flu-like illness for five days, and consequently they finished in 6th place. In the individual event, Daley finished in 5th place on 50510 points, behind Qiu Bo(58545), David Boudia (54425), Sascha Klein (53450), and Victor Minbaev (52750).

On 27 July 2011, Daley took the first dive in London's newly-built Olympic Park Aquatics Centre marking the one year countdown until the games begin It was broadcast live on BBC One and when interviewed he said "Marking the one year to go, by diving in the Aquatics Centre is an incredible honour Only a few years ago, this was a distant dream The fact that I qualified at the weekend and am taking the first dive is a complete privilege I can’t wait for next year and the honour of representing Team GB”.


In the 2012 season, a thumb injury forced Daley's withdrawal from the National Cup a few days before the competition (the 10m platform title was won by Max Brick) In February 2012 British Diving's Performance Director Alexei Evangulov criticised Daley's work ethic, stating that he feared Daley's media and commercial activities were to the detriment of his training for the Olympics - a comment which was seemingly backed up when Daley and Pete Waterfield could only finish 7th in the 10m synchro competition in the FINA World Cup event held in London's Olympic Aquatics Centre. Following a clear-the-air meeting between Daley, Evangulov, and Daley's representatives, Daley went on to participate in the 2012 FINA Diving World Series - in the first event held in Dubai, Daley and Waterfield finished 4th in the 10m synchro event, while Daley won silver in the individual 10m event. In the event held in Beijing a week later, Daley and Waterfield won the silver medal in the 10m synchro event, while in the individual event Daley won silver and Waterfield the bronze. Three weeks later, in the Moscow event, Daley won silver in the individual platform event, while the pairing finished 5th in the synchro. In the final DWS meet of the year, in Tijuana, Mexico, Daley won gold in the individual platform event, and the pairing with Waterfield won bronze in the synchro event, although the Chinese did not compete in these events at this meet. Over the whole 2012 Diving World Series, Daley and the Daley/Waterman pairing won both the overall individual and synchro 10 metre competitions.

In April 2012 Daley also won, by a margin of 140 points, the British elite juniors 10 metre platform title - in the final year of his eligibility for junior competition in the championships held in the brand new Life Centre in his home town of Plymouth.

In May 2012, Daley regained the European 10 metre platform title when he won gold at the Eindhoven championships with a score of 56505 points, 4965 ahead of Victor Minibaevin silver position.

Personal life

Daley lives in Plymouth with his mother, Debbie, and two brothers, William and Ben His father, Robert Daley, died at the age of 40 of a brain tumour on May 27, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. His father had been a continuous support to Tom during his career and was determined to watch his son perform in the London 2012 Olympics He had previously stated that "London 2012 is a massive motivation for me And I am going to be there Tom is the oil in my lamp and he's going to keep me burning"


From age 11 to 14 Daley attended Eggbuckland Community College. At 13 he became a celebrity supporter of ChildLine, a children's helpline run by the NSPCC, and at that time it was revealed that he had been bullied eighteen months earlier. In April 2009 Daley alleged to Plymouth's main local newspaper The Herald that he had been regularly bullied at school since the Olympics, and his father told the BBC that he had temporarily withdrawn him from that school because its response to the problem had been ineffective. Daley was praised in the media for speaking out about the problem. Daley was promptly offered a full scholarship to board at independent school Brighton College, but his father turned this down due to the distance from home, and entered negotiations with local independent school Plymouth College, which had offered him a "very significant scholarship". Plymouth College regularly offers swimming scholarships, and its ex-pupils include 2008 Olympic medallist Cassie Patten. A few weeks later it was confirmed that Daley had enrolled at Plymouth College. Daley took his GCSEs in small batches to fit around his diving commitments He persuaded supermodel Kate Moss to pose for a recreation of an original portrait by David Hockney, as part of a GCSE photography project recreating great works of art, after meeting her on a photo shoot for the Italian version of Vogue. Having obtained one A and eight A* grades in his GCSEs, Daley has begun his two-year. A level courses in Maths, Spanish and Photography, having declined to undertake the International Baccalaureate course because of the parallel pressures and time necessary for his preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

Honours and awards
  • Named Youngster of the Year by BBC South West in 2005
  • Named BBC South West Sports Personality of the Year, and Young Sports Personality of the Year, 2009
  • Short-listed to the final ten for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award in 2006
  • Short-listed to the final three for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award in 2008
  • Named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2007, 2009 and 2010 (only person ever to win this award more than once)
  • Short-listed to the final ten for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2009 and 2010
  • Ranked #63 in Time's 2008 edition of 100 Olympic Athletes To Watch
  • Won LEN Magazine's "Athlete of the Year" award for mens' divers, 2009, on behalf of the European Swimming Federation The award is voted for by representatives of all European Aquatic Federations and the media
  • Nominated for the 2010 Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year
Competitive history

Now for his photos...

Look... he even gave you an autographed picture :)

And here's another surprise. Click here.

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