Tom Daley and his diving partner, Matty Lee, brought home a gold medal for Team Great Britain Monday, after narrowly winning the 10-meter synchronized diving at the Tokyo Olympics.
The victory was especially meaningful for Daley in his second Olympics as an openly gay man.
"I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion," said Daley who was visibly emotional. "And I feel very empowered by that because when I was younger, I thought I was never going to be anything, or achieve anything, because of who I was, and to be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything."
Daley came out in 2013 shortly after he began dating his now-husband, Dustin Lance Black. He said at that time he "felt like the one that was alone and different and didn't fit in."
Now, he said, "I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. That you can achieve anything and that there is a whole lot of your chosen family out here, ready to support you."
Daley won bronze medals at the London Games in 2012 and the Rio Olympics in 2016. Monday's gold-medal win was a long time coming after two third-place finishes.
"To finally have this gold medal — I've been diving for 20 years. It's my fourth Olympic Games," Daley said after his victory. "Lots of people would have counted me out, being the older person, but I'm in the best shape, physically."
Daley's American-born husband won a screenwriting Oscar in 2008 for “Milk," the biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk.
The couple married in 2017 and had their first child, a son, the following year.
“The fact that I can say my son watched me become an Olympic champion, albeit on TV because they couldn’t be here, is such a great feeling,” Daley said.