Tom Daley

Diver Tom Daley says he’s dating a man

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Diver Tom Daley, one of Great Britain’s most celebrated Olympians, said that he is dating a man.

“One thing I’ve never really felt that comfortable talking about are my relationships,” Daley said in a YouTube video published Monday. “I’ve been dating girls, and I’ve never really had a serious relationship to talk about. And, now I kind of feel ready to talk about my relationships. Come spring, this year, my life changed, massively, when I met someone. They make me feel so happy, so safe, and everything just feels great. Well, that someone is a guy. It did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen. But it wasn’t until spring this year that something just clicked. It felt right.

“Of course I still fancy girls. But right now, I’m dating a guy, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Daley is the 2009 world champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist on the platform. He has 2.4 million Twitter followers, more than any other athlete in a sport whose biggest event is the Olympics, save Usain Bolt.

Daley, 19, said his life has been a bit of a roller coaster the last few years. He lost his dad to cancer at age 40 in 2011 and then won a bronze medal at the London Games as one of the host nation’s biggest stars.

Four-time U.S. Olympic champion diver Greg Louganis is also gay. Australian 2008 Olympic platform champion Matthew Mitcham and two-time 2004 Olympic medalist Matthew Helm have said they are, too.

In April, NBA center Jason Collins became the first active male athlete in a major North American team sport to come out as gay.

“In an ideal world, I wouldn’t be doing this video because it shouldn’t matter,” Daley said. “But, recently, I was misquoted in an interview. It made me feel really angry and frustrated. Emotions that I’ve never felt before when reading something about myself. For me, honesty is something that I really do believe in. I’ve always been honest. I may have been vague in some of my answers, but I’ve always been honest.”

Daley said he’s heading to Houston, Texas, for a training camp through Christmas.

“I’m still Tom,” he said. “I still want to win a gold medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain. I’m still as motivated as ever to do that.”

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Yevgenia Medvedeva wins season opener in rout

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Olympic figure skating favorite Yevgenia Medvedeva, imperfect by her standards, still won her first international competition of the season by a whopping 36.74 points on Saturday.

The Russian tallied 146.72 points in her free skate at Nepela Trophy in Slovakia — lower than her median score over her two-year winning streak — and 226.72 points overall. 

Video is here. Full scores are here.

Medvedeva had a wrong edge call on her triple Lutz, stepping out of the landing. 

Judges gave her a negative grade of execution for it, snapping a streak of more than 60 straight jumps with positive grades dating to December.

No matter, the 17-year-old still had the highest free skate by 23.23 points.

It was 13.72 points shy of her world record set at the last competition of the 2016-17 season.

She distanced Japanese Rika Hongo and countrywoman Yelena Radionova, the only woman to beat Medvedeva in senior international competition in November 2015.

Medvedeva entered the free skate with a 13.51-point lead in the low-level event. That was via recording the second-highest short program tally under a 13-year-old judging system on Thursday.

Her flawed free skate still earned more points than any of her rivals racked up last season. 

All of her jumps except a double Axel were in the second half of her program to earn bonus points.

However, another Russian posted a higher free skate score last week.

That’s 15-year-old training partner Alina Zagitova, who was .45 better at a low-level event in Italy. 

It’s not entirely fair to compare scores from different judging panels at these early season competitions, though.

The first of six Grand Prix series events is Rostelecom Cup in Moscow in four weeks, featuring Medvedeva and Radionova.

Medvedeva and Zagitova could go head-to-head at the Grand Prix Final in December and should definitely both be at the Russian Championships later that month.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. 

North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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Yuzuru Hanyu opens Olympic season with record score

Yuzuru Hanyu
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A sore knee didn’t hold Yuzuru Hanyu back. A record score to open his Olympic season.

The Olympic and world champion from Japan hit a pair of quadruple jumps in his short program at the Autumn Classic, a lower-level event in Montreal.

He was rewarded with 112.72 points, the highest short program score recorded under the 13-year-old judging system. Video is here.

It looked like a home competition for Hanyu.

Upon finishing, he bowed toward one set of bleachers (maybe a dozen rows) at the Sportsplexe Pierrefonds. More than two dozen Japanese flags made it hard to see most of the faces.

He bettered Javier Fernández, a two-time world champion and training partner, by 11.52 points. Fernández also landed two quadruple jumps to tally 101.2.

Full scores will be here upon the conclusion of the short program. The free skate is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. A live stream is here.

Hanyu now owns the three highest short program scores under the 13-year-old system. The other two were set in the 2015-16 season.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November.

Hanyu and Fernández are very familiar with each other, having shared a coach in Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic silver medalist, since 2012. They train in Toronto.

In that time, Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic title (and the second teen from any nation to do it). He followed it up with world titles later in 2014 and this year.

Fernández achieved unfathomable success for a Spanish skater — world titles in 2015 and 2016, overtaking Hanyu in the free skate both times.

In PyeongChang, Hanyu can become the first man to repeat as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952. Fernández can become the third Spaniard to earn a Winter Olympic medal of any color in any sport, and the first since 1992.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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