Tom Daley is a man of many talents. The British diver, who won gold alongside Matty Lee in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform event at the Tokyo Olympics, also happens to be quite the craftsman. Fans were delighted to spot Daley knitting in the stands during the games, and the wholesome moment quickly went viral on Twitter.
On August 1, the 27-year-old showed up to support competitors in the women’s three-meter springboard diving final. But unlike the rest of the spectators, he brought some extra gear: A pair of knitting needles and some pink and purple yarn.
He even caught the Olympics’ attention. “Oh this? Just Olympic champ @TomDaley1994 knitting in the stands while watching the diving,” the official Olympics Twitter account tweeted alongside a sweet pic of Daley.
Of course, the world-class athlete’s formidable crafting skills are no secret. He picked up knitting and crocheting to keep himself occupied when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and has since graduated to pulling off elaborate designs that he shows off on the Instagram account @madewithlovebytomdaley.
Still, Daley is more famous than ever after his gold medal win, and his poolside knitting was a delightful surprise for legions of old and new fans alike.
Fans were also very happy to learn that he knitted a special pouch to protect his brand-new Olympic medal.
“Learning to knit and crochet has helped me so much through these Olympics and we won GOLD yesterday 🥇,” Daley shared on Instagram. “I made a little medal case too! 🇬🇧🇯🇵 YAY!”
Daley’s knitting session certainly brought some fun levity to the Tokyo games, which have been widely scrutinized because of COVID-related issues — Japan’s vaccination rate is incredibly low, and numerous athletes have tested positive.
The diver first qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics at just 14 years old, later competing at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The athlete, who’s also a YouTuber with over 900,000 subscribers, has been vocal about how he hopes to be a positive role model for LGBTQ+ people.
“I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone and that you can achieve anything. There is a whole lot of your chosen family out here ready to support you,” Daley said in an impassioned speech after his gold medal win. “I am incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion. I feel very empowered by that.”