For an eighteen year old, Tom Daley has achieved a tremendous amount – both in athletic and academic terms. Not only did he bag a bronze medal at London 2012, but he also scored straight As in his A-levels. Brains AND brawn? Somebody won the genetic lottery!
Yet Tom, who appeared on Jonathan Ross last night, displayed the type of modesty that we’re no longer accustomed to. Nowadays our television screens are awash with a sea of arrogant reality TV stars, all of which take pride in being famous for achieving absolutely nothing.
It was humbling to watch Tom, and also Ussain Bolt – two legends who have charisma and talent in abundance – talk about their achievements. It’s undeniable that Ussain has a certain degree of arrogance about him, but unlike with most celebs, it’s justified. And more importantly, it’s good natured, too.
I feel the Olympics has set a new gold standard in terms of fame. After watching so many hard-working, intelligent, yet humble individuals achieve their life goals, it’s hard to revert back to watching the a-typical celeb revel in their undeserved star status.
Of course some celebrities, namely talented music stars such as Adele, deserve the fame and adoration they get. But others, such as those who feature on programmes like TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, and Jersey / Geordie Shore, now pale in comparison to the Olympians, who I believe to be the true icons of our time.
I hope the Olympics instigates a new wave of celebrity, one which wipes out the emaciated, fame-hungry, moral-free opportunists that have been bombarding our screens for the last decade. Because if young people should aspire to anyone, it’s not the Kardashians, it’s the athletes who competed at London 2012.
And if there’s any teenager that young Brits should aspire to, it’s Tom Daley.