Coming Up For Air by Tom Daley

Coming Up For Air by Tom Daley
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Contemporary, Memoir
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A deeply personal and inspiring memoir from the celebrated Olympic gold medal diver and LGBTQ+ advocate

Tom Daley is one of the most beloved athletes of our time, having competed as a diver in four Olympics, garnering medals and finally, in 2021 in Tokyo, winning gold. But few people know the realities of his life beyond the pool—his struggles, his secret triumphs and the mindset he needed to cultivate to become a champion.

In this deeply personal book, Tom explores the experiences that have shaped him and the qualities that brought him success and joy—from the resilience he developed competing at a world-class level, to the courage he discovered while reclaiming the narrative around his sexuality, to the perspective that family life has brought him.

Inspiring, candid and compulsively readable, Coming Up for Air offers an intimate window into the life and mindset of an athlete and advocate who has left an indelible imprint on sports.

A diver, a career and a long journey.

Tom Daley is well known for his time in the pool. He’s a professional diver and he’s competed at the highest levels. If you watched him in London in 2012, then there was some fantastic diving. This book is about that, but it’s also about him as a person. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill autobiography. It’s almost like a conversation with friends and a self-therapy session. The writing flows well, again like a conversation among friends, and kept me engaged throughout.

Daley talks about his struggles in the pool. It’s not always great and sometimes it’s bad. He talks about how he got through those times and honestly, it was helpful to see how he dealt with his struggles. He’s relatable. I liked learning about his journey to meeting and marrying his husband as well as his struggles in and out of the pool. Not because I wanted to see his faults, but it humanized him. He talks about his father being not the average sport parent, but just being a parent. When he’d struggle, his father wasn’t pushing him to the point of being terrible, but rather he pushed by not pushing. He let his son figure things out on his own. Reading about his father’s struggle with cancer and passing added a dimension to the story and again humanized them all.

If you’re looking for a sweet, funny at times, sad at times, but wholly engrossing, then this might be the book for you.

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