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One of the biggest upsets of the Games took place Monday afternoon as Great Britain diving pair Tom Daley and Matty Lee took gold in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform, dashing the hopes of the favorites, Chinese pair Yuan Cao and Aisen Chen.

Cao and Chen are both gold medalists in the event and were widely expected to win, but they were beaten by the British pair by just 1.2 points after six almost perfect dives.

Daley, who is one of the few openly gay athletes at these Games, is competing in his fourth Olympics, with his previous best performance a bronze medal at Rio 2016. It is Lee’s first Olympics.

“It’s unbelievable, especially after Rio 2016, when I was extremely disappointed, because I thought that’d be my best chance of a medal,” said Daley after taking the medal. “But my husband said my story doesn’t end there — he said our son was going to watch me become an Olympic champion.

Tom Daley and Matty Lee on the podium after winning the gold medal on Monday. | REUTERS
Tom Daley and Matty Lee on the podium after winning the gold medal on Monday. | REUTERS

“I feel incredibly proud to say that I’m a gay man and also an Olympic champion. I feel very empowered by that.”

Daley is a social media and TV star in the U.K. and became a celebrated proponent of knitting and crocheting during the pandemic and in the lead up to the Games. He came out on YouTube in 2013 following the London 2012 Olympics, with a video to his almost 1 million subscribers.

Great Britain finished with 471.81 points to take gold, China with 470.58 points for silver. Aleksandr Bondar (ROC) and Viktor Minibaev (ROC) took bronze with 439.92 points.

Tom Daley and Matty Lee of Britain in action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Monday  | REUTERS
Tom Daley and Matty Lee of Britain in action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Monday | REUTERS

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