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In a profile recently published in the UK-based publication The Times, out diver, knitting king, and total heartthrob Tom Daley opened up about what his experience with the pandemic has been like, and the 27-year-old revealed that he had COVID-19 earlier this in January and had to be rushed to the hospital a mere months before he was scheduled to compete in this past summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"I honestly felt like I might die," he told The Times, recounting how badly the virus made him feel (it started out as a tight feeling around his lungs that made it hard to breathe) and how scared he was when thinking about the future of his husband, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, and their son Robbie and what they would do if something ever happened to him.
"I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill," Daley continued. "I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up. I was really terrified."
Fortunately, thanks to expert medical help and hospital treatment, Daley was able to make a full recovery, and after taking a break from training, was able to get back in the saddle (or the diving platform, rather) and slay the competition at the Summer Olympics this past summer in Tokyo. Alongside his partner and fellow Team GB competitor Matty Lee, Daley took home his first his Olympic gold medal in the men's synchronized swimming 10m platform event, after he and Lee bested defending champions Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen, who were representing China.
It was the first time divers from China did not take first place since 2000, and for Daley, it was a very emotional win.
"I still can't honestly believe what is happening," Daley told the BBC at the time. "That moment, being about to be announced as Olympic champions, I was gone. I was blubbering."