Olympic diving champion Tom Daley said his “obsession” with knitting and all things yarn was inspired by his husband, Dustin Lance Black.
Through the Tokyo games, Daley shared his love for all things yarn and was even seen knitting while watching the women’s diving final.
In a recent interview with BBC Breakfast‘s Sally Nugent, Tom Daley explained how he started knitting because he is “terrible at sitting still”, which is understandable for a top athlete and parent of a young child.
He said that his coach has always harped on at him to rest, and it was his husband who came up with the idea for him to take up knitting.
“It was actually Lance who said that on set, people will knit squares just to pass the time and I was like: ‘OK, I’ll try that,’” Daley explained. “So I started trying it, and fell in love with it and here we are.”
Team GB’s Tom Daley is seen knitting before the Men’s 10m Platform Final on 7 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Getty/Clive Rose)
Tom Daley said he quickly became “obsessed” with his new hobby and was breaking out the knitting needles everywhere including on buses to and from the pool, in the stands and “whenever I had a spare moment”.
“While the other boys in our apartment were playing video games, I would just sit and knit,” Daley recalled. “I’d wake up and if I had time to sit and knit, I would just continually knit.”
He described how athletes end up “over-thinking so many things” while staying in the Olympic village, and knitting was his “form of escapism to get away” and “not have to think about diving” for a bit.
Tom Daley has been in the spotlight ever since he stepped onto an Olympic diving board as a teenager in the 2008 Beijing games.
Over the years, the openly gay elite athlete has become an LGBT+ icon for his staunch support for queer representation in sport.
He finally realised an Olympic dream at the 2020 Tokyo games after he took home his first-ever gold medal alongside his teammate Matty Lee in the synchronised 10m platform event.