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Gold medallist unveils secret Olympic project

tom daley diver knitting
Daley works on his Team GB cardigan in the stands. Photo: Getty
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British diver Tom Daley won a diving gold medal in Tokyo – but it’s his crafting hobbies that are going viral.

Daley, who is competing in his four Olympic Games, has taken social media by storm with his knitting and crocheting in the stands while watching other competitors.

It was such an unexpected sight that the BBC mentioned it on air during their coverage of the diving competition.

“What do you reckon he’s crafting there?” said commentator Katherine Downes.

“I wonder who he’s making that purple concoction for?”

It even made it to Team Great Britain’s official Twitter page. Daley later confirmed the “purple concoction” was a jumper for a friend’s dog.

While in Tokyo, he’s also knocked up a little sleeve to keep his precious medal, earned with partner Matty Lee in the men’s 10-metre synchronised dive, safe. His knitting resume also includes vests, doggie sweaters and baby booties.

On Wednesday, he proudly unveiled his greatest work yet – a cardigan made and embroidered with symbols to represent the Tokyo Games and Team Great Britain. The jumper has the word “Tokyo” on the front, a Union Jack flag, and a “Team GB” logo with Olympic rings.

Daley showed off the cardigan in a video posted to social media.

“When I got to Tokyo, I wanted to make something that would remind me of these games. Something that I could say I had made in Tokyo, during the Olympics!” he wrote.

The unlikely hobby is a stress-buster for the diver.

“One thing that has kept me sane throughout this whole process is my love for knitting and crochet and all things stitching,” he said in an Instagram video showing off his swish cardigan.

But many of his creations also raise money for a good cause. In July, one of Daley’s colourful jumpers was raffled to raise money for Britain’s Brain Tumor Charity.

Robert Daley, Daley’s father and his biggest fan, died of brain cancer in 2011.

Mr Daley often joined his son at practices, competitions and news conferences. After his gold-medal win, Daley said he knew his father “would have been extremely proud of how I have become Olympic champion,” ​​Agence France-Presse reported.

“It was always our dream growing up,” he said.

The diver plans to raffle more Tokyo-inspired outfits to raise money for the organisation, according to multiple reports.