Trailblazing Olympian Tom Bosworth just enjoyed the World Athletic Championships in a new way. For the first time, the all-time great race walker was working the event, rather than competing.
While it was a different feeling, he says there was a lot less pressure!
“My first world champs working fast rather than walking fast!,” he posted on Instagram. “The pressure seems a lot less.”
When the pressure was on, Bosworth was one of the best in the world. The British athlete holds three world records for race walking, including the 1-mile walk.
He’s won 17 medals overall in Commonwealth competition.
Earlier this week, Bosworth paid tribute to his one-year retirement anniversary by posting a video of one of his favorite races: his walker vs. runner competition against Adam Clarke.
“One of the proudest parts of my career was giving race walking some publicity it might not have gotten otherwise,” he wrote.
Bosworth certainly did his part when it came to establishing race walking as a legitimate Olympic sport. He retired at the top of his game, too, setting two new British records at the start of 2020 and becoming a British champion once again in the 5,000-meter walk.
The 33-year-old announced his retirement prior to last year’s Commonwealth Games.
“I cannot believe what I have managed to achieve, two Olympics, the British records, it is all so surreal,” he said at the time. “I just started Athletics for fun and for fitness so to have had the career I have, I feel so lucky and privileged.”
Bosworth publicly came out as gay in 2015, when he was still an Olympic hopeful. At the time, he was the only out gay male athlete on the British team. Since then, swimmer Dan Jervis has come out, as well as teenage soccer player Jake Daniels.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Bosworth said it’s been a blessing to hear how he’s inspired others.
“What has been really nice is that people who are inside of athletics and outside of athletics have been coming up to me to say ‘because of your story, it gave me the confidence to come out to my family or my friends,” he said. “That really means a lot because not everybody has to come out publicly.”
Bosworth says he decided to come out because he was in a long-term relationship, and wanted to live an open life with his partner.
“It was something I wanted to do to protect myself. Everyone wants to know everything about their Olympians in Olympic year, so I wanted to put it out there so that I could just enjoy my time with my now fiancee,” he told Sky Sports last year.
The following year, Bosworth proposed to Harry on the beach in Rio de Janeiro–while he was competing in the Summer Games.
Bosworth married his husband, Harry, at a beautiful wedding last fall.
“It was by far the happiest moment of my life. Nothing has come even close,” he posted on Instagram.
As a proud and out gay man, Bosworth feels comfortable sharing all of his emotions with the world. At his final Olympics in 2021, he cried and thanked his supporters in a touching farewell speech.
Bosworth placed 25th, and apologized for his disappointing finish.
“I’m really, really sorry for letting you down,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough for your messages of support and good luck before the race. It means the world. I’m proud to be a double Olympian, I’m proud to have finished the race, because I wanted to stop. Nothing felt right, but no excuses here. I didn’t perform, and it’s not good enough.”
But that’s where Bosworth is wrong. Race results and medals are nice, but his legacy is much larger than that.