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Tom's quest began in Newquay

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 03, 2012

QUEST FOR GLORY:  Tom Daley took inspiration from his current diving partner Pete Waterfield.

QUEST FOR GLORY: Tom Daley took inspiration from his current diving partner Pete Waterfield.

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TEEN diving star Tom Daley has revealed his quest for Olympic glory began in the unlikeliest of places – a Newquay caravan site.

The Plymouth lad said he had been on a family holiday in 2004 when he watched current synchronised diving partner Pete Waterfield win a silver medal in the Athens Games on TV.

Waterfield and fellow diver Leon Taylor bagged Team GB's only Olympic diving medal in the past 52 years.

And they inspired a 10-year-old Daley, now 18, to aim for the top.

He described the chance to dive alongside father-of-two Waterfield as "surreal" after tuning in to watch his idol eight years ago.

"I was 10 years old when Pete won his Olympic silver medal," said Daley. "I was staying in the family caravan down in Newquay. I was sat in the caravan trying to tune the TV in so I could watch it. I was watching the whole thing and thinking 'Wow, he's an Olympic silver medallist'.

"I was fortunate to compete in Beijing but not even then did I think I'd be able to compete as a synchro team with Pete after watching him in Athens 2004. It's quite surreal actually."

The identity of the campsite remains a mystery, and Daley himself has remained tight-lipped on which one it was.

But one campsite manager, Matt Way of Hendra Holiday Park, told the Cornish Guardian he'd be delighted if it was his .

"I'd love to think it was us and we'd certainly welcome him here any time," he said. "Anything that paints Newquay in the positive light it deserves is always good. We've had lots of celebrities down here over the years and it's always good for the town."

Steve Kessell, of the town's tourist board Visit Newquay, added: "Like many people, young Tom made a life-changing decision while on holiday in one of the nation's favourite seaside resorts, which just shows what a champion place Newquay is!"

Millions tuned in to watch Daley and Waterfield fall agonisingly short of a podium spot in the synchronised diving event on Monday.

They are now gearing up for the individual 10 metre diving event, which begins on August 10.

An Olympic medal is the only major honour that Daley has missed out on during his career so far.

The diver was crowned world platform champion as a 15-year-old in Rome three years ago while in May he reclaimed the European title he first won aged just 13.

Daley's European success this year came in the midst of career-best form, in which he twice improved his personal best, while he was also crowned individual and synchro platform champion at the World Series.

He said he welcomed the pressure as he looks to fulfil his Olympic dream.

"Pressure isn't a bad thing. I quite like pressure going into a competition. Divers either handle pressure or they don't. I've had pressure going into competitions for a long time now.

"For me pressure should bring out the best in you."

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  • homerjay  |  August 04 2012, 5:33PM

    Whatever happens, Tom's a winner and a great role model. He has nothing more to prove. As for the green eyed twitter trolls, they'll never be anything other than losers.

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  • TheodoreV  |  August 04 2012, 2:50PM

    Good luck Tom.

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  • thejambo  |  August 04 2012, 1:00PM

    I remember tom doing backflips in bar at the site in newquay and doing all sorts of entrys into the swimming pool unfortunately it wasn't hendra

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