In New Book, Tom Daley Reveals Serious Bout with COVID While Olympic Training

Monday October 11, 2021
Originally published on October 4, 2021

Just seven months before winning gold and bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics in July, Tom Daley had COVID, the out swimmer told The Sunday Times in an interview in conjunction with the the serialization of his book "Coming Up For Air: What I Learned From Sport" in the newspaper. (Note: story behind a paywall.)

His book will be released on October 14.

"Describing the feeling of having the virus," reports Pink News, he said his "lungs felt pressurised, as if they had sacks of rice around them," and added: "Every time I stood up, I felt the room spinning and a blinding white light, as if I was going to faint, and as if I couldn't get enough oxygen into my body."

He even went as far as to instruct his husband, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, on what to do if he stopped breathing. "I honestly felt like I might die," he said, adding that he feared what would happen to their son, Robbie, if both he and Black came down with COVID."

When his oxygen levels began dropping, he called for emergency care. "I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill," said Daley. "I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up. I was really terrified."

"Luckily, a few days later, he began to recover, although he was kept out of training for months," adds Pink News.