British Swimming CEO Criticizes Diver Tom Daley For Appearing On Reality TV Show
ITV's new peaktime Saturday night reality show "Splash!" "has reignited anxieties in British Swimming about Tom Daley's commercial commitments away from diving," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. British Swimming CEO David Sparkes "has raised concerns over 18-year-old Daley's role as a mentor for the celebrity divers in Splash!" Sparkes said, "Tom is an incredibly talented young man, but he's yet to achieve his full potential and it's only going to get harder to achieve that Olympic Gold Medal as he gets older. You can rest assured the next Chinese diving superstar will not have such distractions from training." However, Daley's camp said that British Swimming "knew about Splash! in advance" and that the program "is giving diving much-needed exposure while not affecting Daley's training schedule" (DAILY MAIL, 1/8). In London, Scott Rutherford wrote British Diving Performance Dir Alexei Evangulov "had warned last February that Daley faced missing out on an Olympic medal unless he reduced his media and sponsorship work." Evangulov said, "If I had power, I would restrict it. If you look at the Chinese, they work three times harder. That’s the only secret" (LONDON TIMES, 1/8).