Tom Daley responds after Russian state TV targets him with homophobic slurs - 'You swallow yourself up'

Great Britain's Tom Daley during the Men's 10m Platform Final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on the fifteenth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Saturday August 7, 2021. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Great Britain's Tom Daley won two medals - gold and bronze - at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Tom Daley has said he hopes LGBT representation at the Olympics will make people around the world feel less alone in response to alleged homophobic slurs made against him.

British diver Daley has been won of Team GB's Tokyo superstars and on Saturday morning added a bronze medal to his gold.

On Friday it emerged that Olympic officials are to investigate homophobic comments made on Russian television over discriminatory slurs made against him.

Member of the LGBT community were referred to as "dirt", "perverts" and "psychopaths" on Russian state TV, according to The Times.

Rossiya 1 channel's 60 Minutes current affairs programme showed footage of Daley and his husband, Lance, with presenter Olga Skabeyeva taking aim at the Briton after he won gold in the men's 10m synchronised platform event with partner Matty Lee.

Russian Olympic Committee divers Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev won bronze in the event, the former portrayed as a "normal guy" with Daley labelled "a British homosexual".

"In Britain, of course, they have their own values," Skabeyeva stated, while a panellist on the programme called LBGT athletes "an abomination".

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Asked about the comments, Daley said that greater inclusivity would make "the world a better place".

"History shows that everything that society is has been dictated from the straight, white, male experience. If we could come together and use different points of view, the world would be a better place," Daley said, according to the Telegraph.

“There are lots of people who grow up around the world in less fortunate situations. I just hope that seeing ‘out’ sportspeople will help people to feel like they are less alone, like they are valued, like they can achieve something. When I was growing up, I always knew I was different. I always heard people saying bad things. You never feel as if you can say anything. You swallow yourself up, and you feel like you’re never going to be anyone.

“I didn’t realise the impact it would have on people around the world to live as myself. I feel extremely proud of that.”

New Zealand's trans athlete Laurel Hubbard also came in for attack when Russian MP Alexei Zhuravlyov, a panellist on the show, referred to her Tokyo appearance as "smut and perversion."

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Hubbard became the first ever trans athlete to compete at the Olympics following a controversial appearance.

On another programme, a presenter mocked Hubbard by putting on a wig to mock the Kiwi weightlifter.

Anatoly Kuzichev called transgender people "psychopaths" and said they needed psychiatric treatment.

-TOKYO,JAPAN August 2, 2021: New Zealands Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender Olympian, cant make the lift on his final try in the womens 87kg weightlifting final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  (Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender Olympian, cant make the lift on his final try in the womens 87kg weightlifting final. (Photo by: Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee said: "We have been in contact with our contractual broadcasting partner in Russia in order to get clarity on the situation and to underline the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter and we are following up accordingly."

On Saturday, Daley became the first British athlete to win four Olympic Games medals in diving.

He won bronze in the 10m individual platform final behind two Chinese divers.

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