Olympic athlete Tom Daley has revealed plans to use his OBE in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
In 2021, the 27-year-old won gold in the 10 metre synchronised platform diving competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo – a first for the professional diver.
With 2022 officially started, the young athlete has continued to make his mark within the community with his new OBE title.
The 27-year-old was recognised for his work in diving, charity and LGBTQ+ rights.
In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Daley opened up about the title and the “responsibility” he has to fight for underrepresented communities.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
He went on to say that it’s important to lift up and support people in being whoever they want to be.
Over the course of his career, Daley has been vocal about the injustices that the LGBTQ+ community face throughout the world.
In an interview with GQ, he spoke about homophobic comments made against him on Russian TV during this year’s Games.
“There are ten countries where [being LGBTQ+] is punishable by death that are still competing at the Olympic Games,” Daley explained.
“So, yeah. I only found out recently [about the comments]. I didn’t know that at the time: I was very much in an Olympic bubble.”
The diver went on to state that countries “criminalising” the community should think twice about “hosting major sporting events.”
“But I just think that any country that has, you know, laws criminalising LGBT shouldn’t be hosting major sporting events,” he added.
“A country like Russia should not be hosting major sporting events [or] the World Cup in Qatar. No wonder there’s no out footballers. When you see how racism in sport is still so prevalent, homophobia is definitely going to be there [too].”
Daley also said that he hasn’t heard of Boris Johnson intervening in some of the competing nations in the Commonwealth Games criminalising LGBTQ+ people as he said he would.
“Not that I’ve heard, no,” he answered when asked about this. “I know two countries since then have decriminalised LGBTQ+ people,” he said.
“I don’t know if Boris Johnson has any control over the Commonwealth in that sense, but, you know, especially for the Commonwealth Games, they should not be allowed to host any of those major events if they have those laws.”
We can’t wait to see the work Daley does throughout 2022.