We were friends for years and then we fell head over heels for each other: Team GB’s talented young divers who will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics as a couple as well as team-mates
For Olympic divers, life is very much about jumping in at the deep end.
But Jack Laugher, 26, and Lois Toulson, 21, have also decided to take the plunge with each other – and if all goes well the young lovebirds could become the new golden couple of Team GB at the Tokyo Games.
As both are talented young divers from Leeds, the pair have been friends for years.
Then four years ago, months after Laugher became a national hero by winning gold and silver at the Rio Olympics, they began a relationship which has gone from strength to strength.
Pictured: British divers Lois Toulson (right) and Jack Laugher (left) have been friends for years but will compete in Tokyo as a couple for the first time in their professional diving careers
Golden couple: Divers Lois Toulson (left) and Jack Laugher (right) openly talked about their ‘love story’ on a video to promote Team GB last year, before the Games were postponed
Sponsor pulls advert over protests
Toyota turned its back on the Olympics yesterday by scrapping advertising despite blowing £350million to back the Games.
The world’s biggest car maker had planned an Olympics-themed advert splurge in its home country Japan.
But with public opposition to the Games rising as Covid cases increase and Tokyo in a state of emergency, it has decided to ditch its TV ad campaign dubbed Start Your Impossible.
Toyota also said it will not send any executives to the opening ceremony.
The car giant signed up as a worldwide Olympic sponsor in 2015 in an eight-year deal reportedly worth nearly £770million.
It will continue to support around 200 Toyota-affiliated athletes, and also to use Olympic-themed adverts outside of Japan.
The couple battled through the pandemic at Miss Toulson’s parents’ house before moving into their own place last September. Tokyo will be the first time they compete at a Games as a couple.
They will join current golden couple Laura and Jason Kenny, the track cyclists who married in 2016 after winning a total of ten gold medals between them and who will compete again in Japan.
Laugher and Miss Toulson are full-time professional divers receiving National Lottery funding, and they have everything to become a sponsor’s dream.
Enviable swimsuit selfies, taken at hotspots around the world, are evidence of a young couple in love. And success at Tokyo could propel them up the celebrity ladder.
However, both claim they have no desire to pursue fame, although the occasional perk such as tickets in the Royal Box at Wimbledon are a welcome benefit of success in the pool.
By his own admission Laugher is the ‘extrovert’ of the two, with his girlfriend, a three-time European champion, a quieter ‘introvert’.
‘We love spending time together and doing things together,’ Laugher said.
‘We have very common interests in terms of being family orientated, the food we like, our values and we have similar music taste and sense of humour. We both love cooking and baking.’
They openly talked about their ‘love story’ on a video to promote Team GB last year, before the Games were postponed, and Miss Toulson insists they ‘don’t really row at all’ despite working and living together.
Lois says that despite working and living together, she and boyfriend Jack don’t really row
Jack says they both appreciate having someone who understands the sport and its pressures
She said: ‘We both know that we need our own space so we are quite happy doing our own thing.’
Under the intense pressure of competition, having a partner who is also a diver helps them both to get through the hard times when things go wrong.
Laugher said: ‘We both understand each other’s struggles and what it means to be a professional.
‘We always give each other solid advice and are great sounding boards for each other as well. It’s the perfect relationship really.’