LONDON, Jan 1 — British diver Tom Daley hopes he can use his status to promote change and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community after being awarded an OBE in the new year honours list.
Daley, who won gold alongside Matty Lee in the 10 metre synchronised event at the Tokyo Olympics, has been recognised for services to his sport, LGBTQ+ rights and charity.
“I’m extremely proud to be honoured with an OBE and it feels like a responsibility to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT people, for women, for people of colour,” Daley told the BBC.
“In accepting this OBE, it’s now my responsibility to try and help create change, and help create this environment where anyone can be who they want, no matter where they came from.”
Daley, who is married to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, with whom he has a son, is one of Britain’s most famous gay sportsmen.
“Accepting an OBE is one thing but accepting it and doing something with it (is another),” he added.
“I feel it’s really important to lift up all the people who feel like they’re outsiders and don’t fit in and feel like they have been ‘less than’ for so many years—to support them in being what they want to be.”
Daley is just one of a number of Olympians recognised after Team GB won 65 medals at the Games, which were delayed by a year by the coronavirus pandemic.
Swimmer Adam Peaty, who retained his 100m breaststroke title, has also been awarded an OBE after he spearheaded Britain’s best-ever Olympic performance as the team took home eight medals.
Peaty also took gold in the 4x100m mixed medley relay, and his team-mates in that event - Kathleen Dawson, James Guy, Anna Hopkin and heat competitor Freya Anderson - have all been awarded MBEs.
“After a challenging couple of years it was amazing to see the hard work and dedication of our team pay off in Tokyo,” said Peaty.
“It’s even more special for me to be able to share this moment with my teammates and friends who are also on the new year’s honours list.” — AFP