Trolls target Tom Daley.

On Friday night, during the opening ceremony, commentators honed in on Tom Daley as someone who could be a major force during the games. Since his appearance in Bejing’s diving finals, aged just 14, Tom has matured and tragically lost his father who was the driving force behind Tom’s success.

The weight of Britain’s expectations lay on his shoulders. Before the 10m synchronised platform event, Tom seemed in good spirits, tweeting a conversation he’d had with his mum and brother. However, after finishing fourth, Tom received this tweet:

How dare someone ever tweet anything so disgusting? Tom was thinking about his dad before the competition, tweeting this: “After the toughest year of my life, today is the day! I just want to thank everyone for all their support no matter what the outcome x”.

Tom’s response to the nasty little troll was to RT the abuse he was getting. I think it shows how mature he is. I would not have been so restrained if someone had used my family in such a horrible way and I’m ten years older than Tom.

These further tweets were sent from @rileyy_69 to Tom:

‘Hope your crying now you should be why can’t you even produce for your country.’

‘You really didn’t try your best tommy you said you’d do your country proud and you let us all down rather support a tramp.’

Rileyy_69 appeared to back down, apologising to Tom but what he tweeted was unforgivable. What people often forget about celebrities is that they are still just human – like you and I. Perhaps they have a particular talent for something, or have worked exceptionally hard to get where they are, but what gives anybody the right to abuse them? The weight of expectation is a heavy load to bear and it is easy to see how it can negatively effect people – for example, look at Andy Murray’s reaction when he lost the Wimbledon final last month. Don’t forget – Tom is only 18 and he has lost his dad: how would you feel in his position?

Vic x


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