COMING UP FOR AIR – TOM DALEY

Reading the autobiography of anyone is going to mainly focus on their craft. Coming up for Air was inevitably going to focus on Tom Daley’s career as a diver, but I was not prepared for how, dare I say, bored and repetitive I found this.

If you aren’t too familiar with who Tom Daley is (where have you been, friend?!), he is a British Olympic diver (not swimmer) for Team GB, following his passion from the age of 7 after being introduced to the sport by his dad and younger brothers.

Let’s dive straight in (sorry). In his autobiography, he mainly outlines his journey and career of diving, focusing on the resilience, drive, tenacity, motivation, patience, and mental and physical endurance. He also talks about coming out and falling in love with his now husband, film director Dustin Lance Black, losing his dad to cancer at a young age, the birth of his son Robbie Ray, winning medals, battling covid, and what’s next.
Would you believe I had a MASSIVE crush on him at school?! Poor me.

Even though he inevitably talks about his diving career, I got a bit bored by the majority of this book… whilst it is his life, 200 of 280 pages is about diving along with the technicalities of some of the dives he performed and worked on with his coaches, such as his firework dive (which definitely sounds explosive with the many somersaults and pikes he mentions!).

Whilst he and other athletes make it look easy, it is their job which comes with a lot of discipline and hard work! It was fascinating to hear how cut-throat the industry can be, facing injury along the way, as well as funding which can be pulled back based on how well you dive, along with external success. For instance, he shares his experience of having different coaches since a young boy, including a Russian who had a cold, harsh approach to mentoring: ‘If you don’t win this medal, we don’t get any more funding.’
No pressure then?!

This didn’t make quite the splash I thought it would for me (Lizzie, stop!), but it was endearing to get a raw insight into his life and experience from such a young age, and how his experience as an athlete has shaped him to be the man he is today, all through scrutiny in the public eye and media.

As I said, I was a bit bored for most of this book, instead more interested in the juicy bits, like how he fell in love with Lance! (How intrusive of me) I love a good love story, as well as hearing about how he and his husband welcomed their longed-for baby boy via a surrogate.

This is a good read if you’re a massive fan of Daley. I thought I was, but the technical bits just didn’t float my boat. I’ll stop right there.

Genre – autobiography
Rating – 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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