Olympic gold medalist and television personality Tom Daley has taken on a grueling challenge as part of BBC’s Comic Relief, which viewers will finally get to watch tonight. The Olympic diver took on the ‘Hell of a Homecoming’ challenge in which he attempted to row, cycle, swim and run across the country – and it airs on the BBC at 9pm tonight (Monday, March 14).
The Olympic medal winner started the challenge at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London and was tasked with reaching his hometown of Plymouth in Devon. For the first part of his challenge, he had to row five miles from Stratford to Tower Bridge. He had to finish the challenge off with a 30-mile ultra marathon.
Tom really became a household name in the UK after Team Great Britain made him a poster boy for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where he won a bronze medal. Months later he started hosting a celebrity diving reality TV show Splash! for ITV.
He has kept up his public profile since via regular TV appearances and through his popular social media accounts on Instagram and YouTube particularly, where he vlogs about exercise and healthy eating.
READ MORE: ‘I swam in London’s Olympic pool for the first time – now I’ll never swim anywhere else’
In 2013, Tom admitted that he was in a relationship with a man, although he did not explicitly come out as gay or bisexual. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper later, Tom said: “I don’t put a particular label on any of it because right now I’m in a relationship with a guy, but I still have sexual feelings towards girls.”
But in 2015 Tom announced his engagement to his partner, American screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who he had met at an industry event in the US. At the time he said: “I’d been in relationships with girls where I’d had sexual feelings, but it became so much more intense when I met Lance.”
Tom described meeting Lance as “a real love-at-first-sight thing”, but he had to return to the UK soon afterwards. He explained: “I had to come back to England so we were just talking on the phone or WhatsApp or whatever. Then he came about eight weeks later.
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“The first night, I took him to meet my friends and said: ‘This is my boyfriend.’ The next night we went on our first date. The next night he asked me to be his boyfriend.
“The night after that, after a couple of lychee martinis, he told me he loved me. He extended his trip, we were already talking about babies and weddings”.
Tom and Lance married at Bovey Castle in Devon in May 2017. In February 2018, the couple announced they were expecting their first child through surrogacy. Their son Robbie was born four months later.
But as public as Tom is, he likes to keep his son out of the limelight. Tom told Heart Radio: “There’s lots of people in our family, because we’re spread across the world, there’s lots of people that haven’t met him yet, and we want to be able for him to meet those friends and family members in person.”
He added: “That might change in the future, but for right now, we wanted to enjoy the first year with him. We share glimpses of parenthood, but keep Robbie for us and our family and friends.”
Besides adjusting to his new life after becoming a parent, Tom has also picked up a few new hobbies outside of sport. During the lockdown he started knitting, even revealing a knitted cardigan he made during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Even when he is watching other athletes compete from the stands, Tom is often seen knitting. He even set up a separate Instagram page to demonstrate his knitting and crochet works.
Tune in to BBC’s Comic Relief show at 9pm on Monday to see Tom take on his challenge.
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