Dan Goodfellow and Olympic diving partner Jack Laugher are keeping in sync while self-isolating in the only way they know how - online gaming.
Wherever they’ve been on diving’s globetrotting circuit in the last 18 months, Goodfellow and Laugher can be found in their hotel room cracking into Call of Duty or World of Warcraft. It’s headsets rather than handstands for now but Goodfellow feels common interest is bonding the pair as they aim to jointly defend Laugher’s Olympic title in Tokyo next summer. “Jack and I are chatting every day on the headset at the moment and my brother gets involved too,” said Goodfellow, speaking on behalf of The Official Estate Agent of Team GB Purplebricks. “We always take our laptops on the road and pretty much a full set-up of mouse, headset, keyboard. We don’t stay in five-star hotels so we just get there and set up as best we can.
“Usually there’s only one chair in the hotel room so we have to go makeshift, but we always find a way.
“When you’re in a partnership you have to try stuff to make it work as well as possible.
“If you’ve got someone you get on with and who’s easy-going, it just makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable. If you’re competing you can spend every single second of the day with your partner.
“We’re quite similar in the way we think, the way we train and the way we compete. We’re both based in Leeds and it’s important to train in the same centre in our event.
“We’re looking forward to see what we can do with another year’s training. We’ve only been together for 18 months so another year together is exciting.”
The 23-year-old is stepping into the shoes of Chris Mears, with whom Laugher clinched 3m springboard synchro gold in Rio, the only Olympic title won by a nation other than China.
Goodfellow made his name as a 10m platform diver, partnering Tom Daley to synchro bronze at Rio 2016 and also taking home Commonwealth Games gold in 2018.
Platform and springboard diving are as different as distance running and sprinting and making the switch in search of Olympic gold is a challenge the Cambridge-born star has met head on.
He secured silver alongside Laugher at last year’s World Championships to seal a qualification quota place for Team GB and fuel hope of a medal charge in Tokyo.
While unable to replicate entry into the water at present, Goodfellow is focusing on strength work in a gym in his girlfriend’s cellar, diving onto mats as coaches lead joint sessions online.
The Olympic medallist feels another year’s training will help him become the finished article in his new discipline, which has required him to make radical changes to his physique.
“Our training is typically half in the water and half out, so we can do a lot at home,” said Goodfellow.
“I found it hard for the first few days but I’ve realised it’s about staying motivated and the more training you do now, the easier it’s going to be when you get back into it.
"I'm doing my training in the cellar at the moment and it's like a scene from Rocky.
"As a team we do all our sessions on a group video and you see people are doing it in their living rooms, doing it in their bedrooms and working with what they've got really.
“I’ve had to bulk up a lot going down to the springboard. On the tower it was more about upper-body strength because you’re hitting the water at about 30mph.
“Now it’s about no upper body and all legs. It's been quite hard because I’ve had to put on weight and constantly try to build muscle in my legs in a short amount of time.
“It's not been as easy as we'd thought and there have been some hurdles in the way. I had big shoes to fill after Chris but I’m getting better all the time.
"Even though the Olympics has been pushed back a year, that's another year for me to improve and that's motivating in itself."
Purplebricks is the UK’s leading estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let. As the Official Estate Agent of Team GB, they are supporting the national squad in the build-up to Tokyo. For more information contact [email protected] or visit www.purplebricks.co.uk