Daley hailed for courage

Olympic diver Tom Daley has been hailed for his courage and honesty after revealing he is bisexual in a self-made YouTube clip.

The 19-year-old said in his five-and-a-half-minute address that he wished to put an end to "rumours and speculation" regarding his private life by announcing he is dating an unnamed man and "could not be happier."

Four-time Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, who came out as gay following his retirement in 1995, was among the first to pay tribute to Daley in an open letter linked to his official website.

Louganis wrote: "I am so happy for you that you have someone, also for your mom, I am sure this will just bring you closer, and for your dad I am sure he is smiling down from heaven knowing his son is happy."

Daley's father Robert died of a brain tumour in 2011. The following year, Daley won the bronze medal in the men's 10metre platform competition at the London 2012 Olympics.

Daley said: "Come spring this year my life changed massively when I met someone and they made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great - and that someone is a guy.

"It did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my mind that something like that could happen, but it wasn't until spring this year that something just clicked, it felt right...my whole world just changed there and then.

"Of course I still fancy girls but right now I'm dating a guy and I couldn't be happier."

Daley is the latest high-profile sports person to speak about their sexuality in public, following the likes of former Wales rugby union captain Gareth Thomas and former Leeds footballer Robbie Rogers.

Olympic boxing gold medallist Nicola Adams topped the Independent's annual 'Pink List' poll of influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in November 2012.

Australian diver Matthew Mitcham announced he was gay in 2008 shortly before he won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics

Daley added: "My life's been a bit of a rollercoaster over the last couple of years - losing my dad to cancer was one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with in my life and then winning an Olympic medal last year in front of a home crowd (and) finishing my A-levels this year, it's been hectic.

"In an ideal world I wouldn't be doing this video because it shouldn't matter but recently I was misquoted in an interview and it made me feel really angry and frustrated, and emotions that I've never felt before when reading something about myself, and for me honesty is something that I really do believe in.

"One thing I've never really felt that comfortable (talking) about are my relationships because it's what I get asked even when I'm doing sporting interviews - do you have a girlfriend, who are you seeing, and all that kind of stuff.

"I've been dating girls and I've never really had a serious relationship to talk about and now I feel kind of ready to talk about my relationships.

"People are going to have their own opinions and I think people are going to make a big deal of this. But I wanted to say something and I feel like now I'm ready and I wanted to do it and people will say, 'But what would your dad say?'.

"He always said to me as long as you're happy I'm happy, and right now I couldn't be happier. My mum's been supportive as well...all my friends and family have been so supportive which has been great.

"I'm still Tom, I still want to win an Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 for Great Britain, I'm still as motivated as ever to do that, and it would be great to have you guys on that journey too."

British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes expressed the governing body's full support for Daley, saying in a statement: "Everybody within British Swimming supports Tom and his announcement.

"It's a very private matter and doesn't change the very positive way in which we will continue to work with Tom.

"Tom is one of the world's leading athletes and has achieved success at every level of competition including Olympic bronze and world gold.

"I hope the media will give Tom the privacy he deserves to allow him to continue to focus on performance as he continues to be an inspiration and role model to millions around the globe."

Edward Coe, chairman of the ASA Group Board, who was himself named a role model by the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall last year, also offered his unequivocal support.

Coe said: "We must support Tom Daley in taking this incredibly courageous step.

"To be one of the first Olympic athletes to come out is very brave and will, I hope, be a signal not just to other sports people but to all young people that you can be open about your sexuality, even in a very public environment.

"I am very proud of Tom."

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