Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

63. Tom Daley

Great Britain
Age: 14

British diver Tom Daley will be 14 years and 81 days old when he first launches himself from the 10m platform in Beijing. Standing 5 ft. 1 in. tall (156 cm), weighing a fraction over 100 lbs. (47 kls) and with his teeth still in orthodontic braces, Britain's youngest Olympian in 48 years, isn't expecting to be among the medals. But then he didn't expect to be U.K. champion at 12 or European champion at 13, either. "The Olympics is something I've dreamed about but this was meant to happen in 2012 and not in 2008," says Daley. The experts say he can't win without mastering the back 2 1/2 somersault, 2 1/2 twist in the pike position, the top-tariff, powerhouse dive that his coach has so far refused to let his young body tackle. Daley simply notes "you have to nail all the six dives you do," and seems happy to wait for 2012...or 2016...or 2020.