Gold medal-winning Olympian Tom Daly has discussed his battle with Covid for the first time, explaining how the experience left him terrified only months before competing in the Olympics.

Daly, who discussed his experience in an interview with The Times, said his “lungs felt pressurised as if they had sacks of rice around them.”

“Every time I stood up, I felt the room spinning and a blinding white light, as if I was going to faint, and as if I couldn’t get enough oxygen into my body.”


As his symptoms got worse, Daly says that his concern soon moved onto his Son’s wellbeing in the event that his husband Dustin Lance Black would also come down with the virus.

“I honestly felt like I might die” – Tom Daly 

Daly says that his head soon began to feel like it had “a vice tightening around it,” and when his “oxygen levels were dropping”, he called the ambulance and was rushed to hospital. 

When he arrived, Daly was put on oxygen before an x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs from the virus taking hold.

Daly was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels.

While he recovered relatively quickly, Daley added that he understands “how quickly things could potentially go downhill.”

“I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator and my time being up. I was really terrified.”

Despite his run-in with Covid just seven months out from the Olympics, Daley still managed to bag both a Gold and Bronze medal at the Tokyo games.