British Olympic diver Tom Daley (Photo by Leo Mason-USA TODAY Sports)
Tom Daley, the 19-year-old British diving star who won a bronze medal at last summer's Olympics and is one of his nation's most famous athletes, posted a YouTube video on Monday that revealed he's currently in a relationship with a man.
In the frank, five-minute clip, which racked up more than a half-million views in its first few hours online, Daley said "I still fancy girls" but revealed that he's recently started dating a man.
"Come spring, this year, my life changed. Massively. When I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. That someone is a guy. And it did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my head that it could happen, but it wasn't until the spring of this year that something clicked. It felt right. Like I said, my whole world just changed right there and then."
Daley said he opted to use YouTube as his forum because he wanted his words to come out clearly.
Daley's father died of cancer in 2010. He says in the clip that he feels he'd have his dad's support, since his father always said, "as long as you are happy, I'm happy."
Though he knows his revelation won't be celebrated by all, including some people in his family, Daley said he's the same person as before.
"I'm still Tom. I still want to win an Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain. I'm still motivated as ever to do that."
Daley has 2.4 million followers on Twitter. He became one of Great Britain's most famous athletes in 2008, when he qualified for the Beijing Olympics as a 14-year-old. He won a gold medal in the 10-meter platform event at the 2009 world championships, then took bronze at the Olympics in his home country.
"I think people are going to make a big deal of this," Daley said of his YouTube announcement. "I mean, is it a big deal? I don't think so."
With athletes like Tom Daley blazing the trail, it won't be for much longer.
By Chris Chase, For the Win