Cover Image: Coming Up for Air

Coming Up for Air

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. This was a quite simple read, but it was terribly disorganized. It felt like Daley was trying to pull out larger themes from his life but it read like a mess. I'd have preferred a more linear approach. Also, the tone was almost cloyingly positive, even when the topics were challenging. I felt like I was getting a public version of Daley and not a glimpse at the real person.
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Tom Daley is an Olympic gold medalist, but that barely skims the surface of his depth.
Now  an openly queer father, he has known pressure and stress in all aspects of his life. This biography is an honest, deep dive (pun intended) into Tom's perseverance and understanding how anxieties surrounding the world of a young, famous, deeply loved and admired Olympic diver.
Tom's voice is engaging and endearing. I felt like I was listening to a friend tell me a story over a drink rather than a famous athlete deep diving into his life and struggles. I appreciated his honesty and just wanted to hug him throughout this book.
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This is a wonderful autobiography and anyone interested in a behind the scenes of the diving world this book is for you.  Loved how Tom titled each chapter as it reflected his life at the time.  I didn’t realize all the struggles he has undergone, and not just getting to be an Olympian.
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Olympic gold medal-winning diver Tom Daley's memoir, COMING UP FOR AIR, is an inspiring, moving and honest examination of a gay athlete's life. Daley (Tom's Daily Goals) was 14 when he participated in his first Olympics in 2008, and at age 15, he became Britain's first individual diving world champion, winning a gold medal at the FINA World Championships in Rome. There's a lot about diving and training in this memoir, but Daley is also very open about the debilitating physical and mental stress he experienced.

The memoir is broken into 11 chapters with titles such as "Perseverance," "Acceptance," "Motivation," "Endurance," etc., that focus on individual traits that helped Daley accomplish his goals. These chapters are both how-to and tell-all in nature. In the heartbreaking and tender "Courage" chapter, he recounts the experience of losing his father to a brain tumor and, before he can process his grief, returning to training. He also meets his future husband, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who helps him confront his inability to let people get close to him. Black also helps him realize that "diving was something I could do but it wasn't who I was. This realisation brought with it a profound sense of freedom and release."

Few memoirs by athletes are as brutally candid as Daley's. He details his panic attacks, an eating disorder and body image issues as well as a plethora of physical illnesses, including pneumonia, a concussion, a Covid infection and a secret knee surgery several months before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Written with charm and an open heart, Daley's memoir is irresistible.
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I love Tom Daley and this book reminded me why. From his diving competitions and the Olympics to his love story with Lance, I couldn’t put the book down. You could feel the emotion that he put into it and I absolutely loved it for that reason.
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So genuine and heartfelt. I love Tom Daley and this book is such a vulnerable and fantastic story of his life and goals. I love the real look into it all and how lovely it is. It’s motivating and uplifting story.  A genuine, lovely must read.
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Tom Daley is an olympian that you just want to cheer for.  His latest memoir (I didn’t realize he’s written other books) is not organized chronologically but more by ideals.  Chapter titles include; Perseverance, Kindness, Perspective, Motivation etc.  Then he shares a story or chapter of his life that sort of fits the category.  The beginning was a bit jumpy, leaping back several times to the 2012 Olympics where he won bronze.  The second half of the book felt more selectively chronological covering meeting Lance, competitions, getting married, becoming a father and finally getting his gold and bronze in the 2021 delayed Olympics.  Even though the categories are self help types this isn’t a self help book.  It is a collection of his thoughts and stories and I got to learn more about Tom and his life and experiences.  His coming out as a gay man and being a gay father.  He comes off as a really good guy and you can tell he doesn’t like to ruffle feathers or share much of the negative of his sport.  I chose to read this book this week because Tom happened to be in my home city supporting his husband’s premiere of his new mini-series.  Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing, Hanover Square Press for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Tom Daley's memoir is straightforward and guileless. It smacks of genuine goodness and relentless optimism, much as the man himself, I presume. 

He relates stories of his ascent to Olympic gold under chapter headings like: Kindness, Confidence, and Resilience. It reads like a daily affirmation calendar or motivational posters littering the walls of physical therapy offices. 

Topics like body image within the diving community, sophistication (or lack thereof) between Great Britain's olympic hopefuls and other more developed, well-rounded programs, etc. are not expanded upon/researched enough. 

That absence of deptj detracts from Daley's sound but ultimately cookie fortune advise at the end of each chapter. 

It's not Shakespeare but readers will certainly love the leading man.
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I enjoy autobiographies and biographies of Olympic athletes and have recently developed an interest in diving, which led me to request this book from NetGalley. As an ARC, it did not contain any photos that might be included with the print/published version. 
I enjoyed this book. Daley explains the scoring and technique of competitive diving such that people not familiar with the sport can appreciate his commentary on various competitions. He discussed his introduction to the sport as a child and his career as an athlete and also as a personality related to the sport. I especially enjoy reading about how athletes achieve greatness in a sport. Daley provided plenty of details of his difficulties with mental blocks and injuries as well as a period of bulimia. 
Daley also talked candidly about his personal life and the challenges he experienced as a gay man in sport. His discussion of personal relationships, same sex marriage, and having a child with his husband through a surrogate were intelligently and sensitively presented. 
The story stops after the Tokyo Olympics, which he describes in great detail including how athletes dealt with COVID and how the pandemic affected their training and Olympic experience. I would have liked to read more about Daley's plans for his professional future. 
Overall, this was an enjoyable and informative autobiography. Readers do not need to be fans of diving to appreciate this man's story. 
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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Tom Daley, British Olympic diver, is hearbreakingly honest in this memoir.  He shares with us his fears, challenges, setbacks and triumphs both personally and professionally. His tenacity and drive shine through all of the disappoints and doubts he has had.
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This was fine. Diving superfans will probably enjoy it, but I found it to be chaotically organized, especially the earlier chapters, and I also felt like a lot of details were left out because Daley was trying too hard not to ruffle any feathers.
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