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Exclusive: Tom Bosworth shares how fiancé saved him from mental health

The race walker is due to get married later in the year

tom bosworth athletics
Matthew Moore
Matthew MooreOnline News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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2022 is an incredibly exciting year for Olympic race walker Tom Bosworth, as not only will he be competing in the Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July to 8 August, he is also due to marry fiancé Harry later in the year.

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Wedding planning came easy to the star, something he put down to being an athlete when he exclusively spoke to HELLO! for Pride Month. "Most athletes are super organised, so I loved it, but also got on top of everything straightaway, so most things are nearly done," he explained. "If anybody knows me personally, I don't do things by half, I really can't abide it and because I'm an athlete, I think you're so organised with dates planning, and most of it is coming together."

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The happy couple have also avoided any 'groomzilla' moments with the only minor disagreements being over "flowers and music" although he confessed that some of their family we unsure about their plans to marry in Yorkshire.

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But they were adamant to hold the wedding in God's Own Country, with Tom sharing that it was where they met back in 2011. He added: "I'm like, 'Well, you know what, if you want to be at our wedding and celebrate it, make the effort because we'll put on a great day for you and celebrate mine and Harry's love and will be awesome.'"

He then joked: "What we've really enjoyed is we've tried to keep it as traditional as you can, but then we're like, 'Well, this is a same sex wedding. So who cares what the rules say?'"

Tom and Harry had a fairytale engagement, with Tom getting down on one knee in the idyllic setting of Copacabana Beach, after an aborted attempt at the Christ the Redeemer statue due to the amount of people around, during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

tom bosworth proposal© Photo: Instagram

Tom and Harry got engaged in 2016

Although he quickly revealed that it was Harry who was meant to propose to him! "I'd always said to Harry, the one thing I would like Harry to do is propose and the man can't organise anything, so I just knew it was gonna be on me," he teased.

Tom went on to share that the reason he chose to propose at the Olympic Games was so that the pair would both have something to "treasure" from the events, with Tom uncertain at the time whether he'd qualify for another Olympics and so that the events weren't just about him for the couple.

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But sadly their relationship has not always been plain sailing, with Tom candidly speaking about the impact that it suffered when his mental health worsened following "a disastrous race, at the World Championships".

The race walker had gone in as one of the favourites for a medal, but it went "all wrong" and left him questioning the point of his training after he had "sacrificed" so much. He shared that he then went on a "booze hit" during the off-season and "didn't even want to go back to training and didn't spend much time with Harry".

tom bosworth harry© Photo: Instagram

The athlete credits his fiancé for helping him with his mental health

He explained: "I'd go off at the start of the next season, I would just disappear off at an altitude camp, escape from my own head, just focus on training again. I wasn't enjoying training the same amount because I wasn't happy at home and it was then just a catch-22 I couldn't find an escape, because all I had was training and racing, and there was nothing else to it."

Eventually, enough was enough for Harry who in 2018 told him: "I need a life, I need us, I need a relationship and you're getting miserable, you're not happy training, you're not happy at home. I don't know whether I want us to be together anymore, you can't just be like this, you need something else."

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This prompted a response in Tom, who considered whether breaking up with Harry or "end[ing] it all" might solve his issues, but instead his partner's comments got him to ring British Athletics and start the "two-year road of getting happy again and learning the little things that were important. I'm a brother to my sister, I'm a son to my parents I'm a fiancé to Harry. I'm a dog owner, there's so much more to me."

He urged those struggling with their mental health to "pick up the phone" saying: "It's going to be probably the hardest thing you do, it was the scariest thing I did, but as soon as I made that phone call, it felt like a weight was lifted."

tom bosworth commonwealth© Photo: Getty Images

Tom will compete at the Commonwealth Games later this year

At the age of 32, Tom is aware this his athletics career is nearing its end, but he's promised a lot will continue to happen as he envisioned himself "from commentary to social media coverage of big events".

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And although major reality shows aren't on his horizon, as he confessed he couldn't dance and was incredibly afraid of spiders, one thing he will be looking forward to is being able to celebrate Pride, with festivals often coinciding with when he's training.

And on the importance of Pride Month, he said: "It's not about a big celebration, it's a reminder of where society was, and where it can easily slip to, we're facing so many other issues, within internationally, and within the trans community, that there's still such a necessity for it."

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