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Diving to win: Tom Daley’s focused in training
WHEN Tom Daley prepares to dive at the Olympics aquatics centre, the hopes of a nation will weigh heavy on his shoulders.
Despite that pressure, Tom, 18, who this week began training at the £13.5million Swimming and Diving Centre in Garon Park, Southend, says he is focused on delivering a gold-medal performance.
That focus is even more remarkable when you consider what the Team GB poster boy has been through in his life already.
A new BBC documentary follows Tom and his family on his quest for glory, while also facing bereavement. Tom Daley: Diving for Britain, chronicles the last two years of his life in which Daley’s dad, Rob, died aged just 40.
Rob had been a huge part of Tom’s life, following him to competitions around the world. He died on May 27, 2011, from a brain tumour.
Days before the documentary airs, Tom spoke to the Times newspaper about the love he has for his father still, but how he is trying to maintain focus for London.
Tom said: “When it first happened – when he died – I didn’t miss any training sessions. But obviously, when you go to training, of course it is on your mind.
“I will always have him in my mind somehow. “The Olympics are all about focusing on my performance and he wouldn’t want me up on that board thinking about him.”
Millions of other people around the country will be thinking about Daley when he goes for gold.
Along with diving partner Peter Waterfield, Daley will take part in the 10m synchronised platform competition on July 30, before hopefully participating in the 10m individual platform final on August 11.
The documentary, made by Jane Treays, looks at the relationship father and son had and the affect Rob’s death has on the young diver.
Despite the steady decline in Rob’s health, the Daley family continued to invite filmmakers into their home life.
Treays told The Times: “Tom felt it important people saw his life is not as golden as they might think.”
Footage also shows the strength of Tom after his father’s funeral, as he dives back into international competition days later.
During her time with Tom, Treays’ filming takes her to the dive centre in Southend for more Team GB training camps. Derek Jarvis , Southend councillor responsible for leisure and culture, says he hopes the stay of Tom and his diving team-mates in Southend results in them getting medals at the Games. The GB diving squad are staying at the three-star Park Inn Palace hotel, with rooms booked up until the team officially moves into the Athletes’ Village next Wednesday.
Mr Jarvis said: “I am fantastically delighted the team will be using the facilities at Garon Park, and the fact they are in Southend.
“I would like to wish them well in their training before the Games and hopefully their time here will bring them lots of medals.”
Since the announcement he would be staying and training in Southend, Tom has tweeted on numerous occasions about his stay.
After spending time at the Athletes’ Village yesterday, he tweeted: “My room in the Olympic village all decorated. Heading back to Southend now for our pre-camp...back on the 25th.”
- Tom Daley: Diving For Britain airs on BBC One on Monday, at 10.35pm.