From winning an Olympic medal to missing out on Rio, Danny Purvis knows only too well how cut throat sport can be.
But after the despair of not being selected for last year’s Olympic Games, Purvis has fire in his belly and is back where he belongs – competing against the very best in the world.
The 26-year-old is one of a ten-strong British squad set to compete at this week’s World Championships in Montreal, which also includes double Olympic champion Max Whitlock and Rio bronze medallist Nile Wilson.
As the oldest member of the team, with Alice Kinsella and Georgia-Mae Fenton – both ten years his junior – also competing in Canada, Purvis is one of the more experienced heads among the Brits.
It’s maturity he will aim to use to his advantage in his pursuit of parallel bar success and, after taking a break from the sport, he’s raring to show the world what it’s been missing.
“It’s really special,” London 2012 team bronze medallist Purvis told British Gymnastics.
“I’m not saying the last couple of cycles that it’s been a given making the team – it has been very difficult – but I always thought I had one foot in the door from doing all of the internationals and getting good results.
“This last year I’ve really been away from it all and it’s the first time I’ve come back and made the team after such a break.
“The main aim after Rio was to try and get back fit. I had a bit of time off to get my head around it.
“At the British Championships in March, it was really early in the year and I just wasn’t ready for it. The aim was to go to the London Open earlier this month and do a good job. I felt if I got back to my old state then I’d got a good chance of making the Worlds team and to go there and do it was really good.”
After missing out on Rio, Purvis went through perhaps the darkest time of his gymnastics career, but with a new focus, he’s back on track on the path to the podium.
He’s keeping his fingers crossed that such success could come in Montreal this week, but he’s determined to enjoy whatever comes around the corner.
“When the team was announced, seeing so many comments on Twitter and Facebook with people glad that I’m back was really nice to see,” he said.
“I’ve gone through the last couple of cycles and you don’t really think about it, especially after not making the Olympic team, you don’t think people would say much about it, but having all that support throughout has been amazing and it’s what has really pushed me.
“I’m just doing the one piece, parallel bars, which is a different scenario for me. I can really go out there, do my piece and enjoy the competition.
“I really think I can perfect that one piece. I’ve never really had the chance to try to specialise as such but having this opportunity now to neaten everything up and give it my best chance on one piece, I think it could be a good thing.
“Parallel bars has always been a massively hard piece but if I could get close to a final that would be fantastic."
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