Diver Tom Daley made a splash across social media during the Tokyo Olympics when photos of him knitting in the stands went viral. His newfound passion is not only good for creating a new woolly winter wardrobe, however, as he is also using it to raise funds for charity.
The athlete took up the hobby during the early days of the pandemic as he looked for different ways to keep busy. It was his husband’s suggestion, according to the Irish Times, and Daley admits, “At first, I was actually terrible at it.”
As time went on, he significantly improved, conquering the basic knit and purl stitches, and more complicated colourwork techniques. By August he was crocheting, and in September he introduced his new Instagram account @madewithlovebytomdaley where he regularly posts photos of his creations.
It is also on this profile that Tom Daley has raffled off and sold his garments, transforming his knitting from a passion project to a philanthropic venture. The cause he most commonly supports is The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of his father. Rob Daley died of a brain tumour when his son was seventeen, and speaking to BBC Sport, the diver said:
“He never ever got to see me win any of my Olympic medals. He got to see me compete in Beijing, but he wasn’t around for London 2021, Rio or Tokyo. I think he would be extremely proud to think that I have not only got four Olympic medals, but one of them is a gold.”
This summer, Daley won his first Olympic gold medal alongside diving partner Matty Lee in the men’s synchronised 10m platform event. The pair ended a 21 year-long winning steak held by China, earning a total of 471.81 points over four dives.
In the wake of the momentous win, he gave a moving speech stating “I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion.”
The speech was widely praised for its inspiring and uplifting message to the LGBTQ+ community, and he added, “I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone.”
To stay up to date with Tom Daley and his knitting, follow @madewithlovebytomdaley on Instagram.
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