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Tom Daley talks candidly about losing his Dad to a brain tumour

Tom has been a vital supporter of The Brain Tumour Charity since losing his Dad, Rob, to a brain tumour in 2011, before he was able to see Tom go on to his medal win at the 2012 London Olympics.

Tom Daley with his Medal in 2012

Tom Daley was interviewed on Christian O’Connell’s morning radio show for Absolute Radio as part of their annual “Who’s Calling Christian” charity interview campaign

Tom said: “I’ve been doing a lot of work the The Brain Tumour Charity because in 2011 my Dad passed away with a brain tumour. Ever since, I’ve wanted to try to raise as much money as possible. My mum’s ran marathons and everything and lots of events.

“Ultimately everyone’s fighting for a cure. Going through cancer as a whole and in particularly brain tumours is tough. It’s the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s and we don’t want many other families to go through a situation like this.

“My Dad was at every single training session, whether it was domestic or international. He was my biggest supporter, so it was really tough when he passed.

“He didn’t even get to see me win an Olympic medal. He was always saying ‘have we got any tickets yet?’ He was taken too soon. Every time we went to a competition internationally, he always had this massive Union Jack to wave about madly.

“In London 2012, I imagined him being there with this big flag, being with me on that diving board and being proud of me winning that medal.”

Asked by Christian O’Connell about challenges, Tom said, “My greatest challenge in life, obviously was with my Dad, that was really tough for all of us.

“In the diving world there was a dive I did in 2012 which was a twisting dive with lots of cameras flashes going off. After that competition, I was so completely terrified of twisting and having to do that dive ever again. Sometimes I was on the edge of the board terrified of taking off. It’s a back 2.5 somersaults and 2.5 twists. We just called it ‘the twister’.

“I was terrified so much so, that two years before Rio 2016, my coach came into training one day and said ‘we’re learning a new dive, one that no-one has ever done before.’ 

“It was a forward 3.5 somersaults and one twist. She showed me a YouTube clip of someone in a circus doing a trick off a Russian swing into the water! I was like ‘great, we have to do a circus trick at the Olympics!'”