Daley killed off some of that time by creating a TikTok tour of the Olympic Village that went viral, but the minute-long video hardly put a dent in his sizable block of free time. And so he’s filling his open hours, including time cheering on his teammates at the pool, with the hobby he has described as his “secret weapon":
Tom Daley is having a sit and knit.
Further investigation of Daley’s Instagram revealed he was knitting a Team GB cardigan:
Daley was only 14 years old when he burst onto the scene at the 2008 Beijing Games, finishing seventh in 10-meter platform and eighth in 10-meter synchronized. Now 26, he calls himself the “granddad” of Team Great Britain and told the BBC last year that he took up knitting to stay sharp during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are loads of things I’m doing to keep myself going, like yoga and visualization, but I’ve also taken up knitting, which could be my secret weapon,” he said. “It’s part of my mindfulness routine, a way of escaping from everything for a while, and I’ve made all kinds of things like scarves and little hats for my son.”
Daley was first spotted knitting in the stands at this year’s Games during the women’s 3-meter springboard final on Sunday, and he continued Monday during the men’s 3-meter springboard preliminaries. He’s so taken up by knitting that he’s started an Instagram to show off his productions, including a little pouch for his gold medal “to stop it from getting scratched”:
He’s also knitted some doggy sweaters.
And cat couches:
Yes, Daley knits clothing for humans, too.
Daley already was something of an icon in both the British sports and LGBT communities, having been open about his sexuality for years now. His viral knitting only will add to that.
“Knitting has become my way of finding calm, mindfulness, and relieves stress! I love it!” Daley wrote in an Instagram story earlier this week.