Why is Tom Daley knitting at the Tokyo Olympics?

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Olympic diver Tom Daley has been spotted knitting various garments during the Tokyo Olympics, which has sparked a wave of fan reactions and memes throughout social media.

The gold medallist and national treasure worked away at his latest woolly project while watching the women’s 3m springboard final on Sunday morning, wearing his Team GB kit and face mask.

In her commentary for the BBC, Katherine Downes said: “There’s Tom Daley. What do you reckon he’s crafting there? I wonder who he’s making that purple concoction for?”

Daley later wrote on social media that he had made a “doggy jumper” for a friend, adding: “It is the cutest little pattern to follow by @knittingland. How cute do they all look?! I was making another one at the pool yesterday.

He was seen again with his knitting needles out while watching another competition. The official Olympics Twitter posted a picture of the moment and wrote: “Urgent update: Knitting action is back underway at the Aquatics Centre. This time it is a Team GB jumper!”

Here’s everything we know about Daley’s love for the craft:

He has an Instagram account dedicated to knitting

Daley has two Instagram accounts. The first one is, predictably, about his diving career, but the second is dedicated to his passion for knitting and crocheting, and goes by the handle @madewithlovebytomdaley.

More than 528,000 people follow the diver’s knit-obsessed account, where he posts updates on projects he’s made for himself, as well as for his family and friends.

Last week, he showed off a pouch he made to keep his gold medal in, which features the Union Jack on one side and the Japan flag on the other. He wrote: “Learning to knit and crochet has helped me so much through these Olympics and we won GOLD yesterday. I made a little medal case too!”

He sells some of his creations for charity

Last month, Daley auctioned off a rainbow jumper he knitted in support of the Brain Tumour Charity, raising £5,800 for the cause.

He said it was his father’s death from a brain tumour in 2011 that motivated him to launch the project.

“Since then I have been trying to raise as much money as possible for the Brain Tumour Charity to help towards research for a cure and treatments,” he said.

“It is the biggest cancer killer of under-40s and we have so much more to learn.”

Knitting is his ‘secret weapon’

Speaking to BBC Sport last July, Daley said that knitting was his “secret weapon” to staying calm.

He said: “There are loads of things I’m doing to keep myself going, like yoga and visualisation, but I’ve also taken up knitting, which could be my secret weapon.

“It’s part of my mindfulness routine, a way of escaping from everything for a while, and I’ve made all kinds of things like scarves and little hats for my son [Robbie].”

Daley is set to compete in the men’s 10m platform event in the Olympics from Friday.

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