Team GB diver Tom Daley in Dubai

We cornered 18-year-old Olympic bronze medallist for a chat

Interview, Hot seat

This is the second time you’ve been to Dubai this year...
We were here for the Diving World Series in April, but didn’t get to see the city – just the hotel and the pool! It’s good to come back and do the touristy things. It’s a lovely place.

What have you been up to since the Olympics?
I went back to training two weeks later, because I had to prepare for the Junior World Championships in Australia, where I won two golds. Now I have a break before I head back to training in November.

How have you been spending your time in Dubai?
We’ve just been chilling by the pool. We went over to Wild Wadi, which was really good fun. We went on the Jumeirah Sceirah – one of my friends was absolutely terrified but we got her to try it in the end. It’s a really good adrenaline rush! I like that kind of excitement.

Have you done any shopping?
We went to The Dubai Mall – it’s massive. We were like, ‘Where do we go?’ It was cool to see, but on holiday I like to chill out, and I have the feeling you can shop anywhere.

Do you stay in shape on holiday, or do you stuff your face like the rest of us?
I’ve eaten a lot since I got here, mainly just having loads for breakfast – two massive plates of food every morning, then skipping lunch. We normally get three weeks off in the whole year, so it’s the only time I can!

You’ve posted a few holiday snaps from Dubai on Twitter. Do you ever get weird comments from followers?
Oh, I get loads! Some of them are quite funny, actually. A lot of people ask how and where they can meet up… You’ve got to be careful what you tweet, because if you mention where you are or what you’re doing, there will be people [turning up] there to see you.

Scary. Do people take it as an invitation to meet you?
Kind of. When I was in Australia recently, I tweeted that I was going to Adelaide, and when we arrived there were hundreds of girls waiting for us.

That must feel a bit surreal.
It is, and you don’t get used to it. It’s only really been happening since the Olympics, but it’s been crazy. Before, I might have been asked for a photo in the street, but since summer it’s got to the stage where people camp outside and follow me.

When you first got into diving, did you ever expect you might have to contend with that level of attention?
No, you don’t really think about that side of it, but at the moment it’s good fun. In the future, I might get tired of it, but right now it’s just part of it.
Tom Daley will soon start work on a reality TV show, in which he’ll be teaching celebrities to dive. For all the latest updates, follow him on Twitter @TomDaley1994.

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