Tom Daley is 18 years old and he is competing in his 2nd olympic games. An amazing feat for a lad of his age. Yet the reason he inspires me does not concern his diving necessarily but what he has overcome and what he has achieved despite this.
I am 16 years old. I've done nothing of note in my life and it would be amazing if I went back to my school in 10 years time and I'd be amazed if any of my teachers remembered me.
What Tom Daley and I have in common is we both have had a family member close to us be diagnosed with some sort of illness. For example, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of 2010. Tom's Father had cancer also. My Mother is still with us and I thank God that she is. Tom's father tragically passed away in May 2011.
When I found out she had cancer I fell to pieces, it felt like a hole had been ripped in my heart. I was meant to be one of those kids you see on Children in Need where they look after their parent when they're sick and I tried but could never be like them. I took it badly. My school results suffered and my personality changed.I neglected schoolwork and prayed that my Mam would survive. I was no longer the excitable childish kid who had fun. I became an unsociable, sulky and moody teenager.
Tom Daley never let it stop him. He became world champion at the age of 15 and had already competed at the Beijing olympics. What was I doing? Probably sulking when someone had beaten me on Fifa. He then went on to win 2 gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. I watched him in awe. I wanted to be him. I wanted his life, the attention he got and jealous of how every girl wanted to see what was in his Speedos.
I then found out he was bullied in school. If you've never been bullied I don't think I can explain how horrible it feels to have been bullied. Like Tom I was bullied in primary school. I'm short for my age and was always the one to get called names etc. But again, he didn't let it stop him. He became a celebrity supporter of ChildLine at 13. Good on him I thought when I read it on his Wikipedia page.
I'm awaiting my GCSE results. I'm dreading them. I'm a relatively smart person yet like I said earlier I'm lazy. Therefore I'm expecting them to be not as good as my family hopes for. Tom on the other hand obtained one A and 8 A*s. Wow. He achieved this even with all the pain that he had experienced in his family life and in public.
I have nothing but respect for Tom Daley and I wish him all the best at London 2012. He is an inspiration of mine and I hope you see him in a new light. As for me, I hope I can at least do something with my life.