Tom Daley capsizes in River Thames during gruelling charity endurance challenge
Olympian Tom Daley has completed the first leg of an “epic” endurance challenge that will see him rowing, cycling, swimming, and running from London to Plymouth for Comic Relief.
He will be travelling from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford to his hometown of Plymouth over four days. Daley began his journey on Monday (14 February) with a six-mile row to the Tower of London, before cycling 60 miles to the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake.
Daley’s boat capsized during his row, but he still finished the first leg of the challenge triumphant.
He said: “The rowing is the most technical part. I’ve found the rowing particularly difficult, and I did fall in quite soon after starting out on the Thames.
“I was looking out at the Thames and thought it looked horrible: the waves were going wild, and the winds were blowing. If I’m honest, I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Tower Bridge, but I did my best.”
On Tuesday (15 February), Daley, 27, will be swimming 1,000 metres in the icy waters of the lake, then cycling 63 miles to Southampton, where he started his diving career back in 2003.
The meaningful places Daley will be travelling to include Bovey Castle, where he married husband Dustin Lance Black in 2017.
Davina McCall, who watched Daley as he began his challenge, said: “Watching Tom this morning has made me relive my Comic Relief challenge – it has brought back so many memories.
“I remember the excitement and trepidation and how being out on the road, or water, is never like it is in your training.”
Comic Relief said of Daley’s challenge: “This Red Nose Day, national hero and diving superstar Tom Daley will take on an epic endurance challenge… This challenge will push Tom to his absolute limits and further out of his comfort zone than ever before.
“Along the route, Tom will visit some very special places close to his heart, joined by friends, family and fellow Olympians.”
Just one month before the endurance challenge, Tom Daley was made an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
The Olympic diver promised to use the honour to advocate for the rights of LGBT+ people across the Commonwealth.
“I’m extremely proud to be honoured with an OBE,” Tom Daley told BBC Breakfast in January, adding that he felt “a responsibility to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT people, for women, for people of colour, to make it a more inclusive and accepting environment.”
He added: “With accepting this OBE it’s now my responsibility to help create change and help create this environment where everybody can be anything that they want, no matter where they came from.”
Daley’s journey will be followed for a BBC documentary airing in March ahead of Comic Relief’s Red Nose day on March 18.
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