“When I didn’t make the team for Rio, it was a bit of a shock”
31 March 2018 – 2012 Olympian Dan Purvis had to dig deep to keep motivated after being left off the British team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. But the prospect of leading the Scottish team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games spurred him on. We spoke just before the Games began.
Four years ago Dan competed in his first Commonwealth Games, in his homeland of Scotland. It was a fantastic experience for him, especially as Scotland won their first ever team medal – the silver. “That was a massive thing, on home soil, it was unbelievable,” Dan recalls. “So the main aim here is to try and get a team medal. That’s massively important for all of us.”
“The team is a little bit different now, a bit younger, but we love a challenge. The guys are really ready, we’ve prepared well for it” he says, adding “I was nominated as the team captain, which is a really big honour. I don’t know if that’s through experience, or age really, because I’m the oldest by a couple of years now.” (He is 27). “But it’s great, I’m very proud of that and very proud to represent Scotland, and to come here with these boys who have worked so hard.”
Having been a member of the British team since before the 2012 Olympic Games, he was very disappointed not to be selected for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “To be honest, after I didn’t make the team for Rio, it was really difficult, and a bit of a shock, so it was hard to get back,” says Dan, who has been all-around British champion no less than four times.
However, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gave him the motivation to keep going. “I thought, two years on from Rio, I’ll see where I am. I’m feeling really good now, so hopefully if I have a good Games, it will spur me on to work hard. I guess I just have to see if I can still compete with these guys,” he continues. “I’d love to carry on for another two years, but I’ll just take each competition as it comes.”
Scotland did indeed win a Commonwealth Games team medal, the bronze, and Dan won bronze on floor in apparatus finals. UPDATE: Dan announced his retirement from competitive gymnastics in February 2019. We wish him all the best for the future.