Dan Purvis...An athlete's view
14 October 2015 / 18:03
Born in Crosby, gymnast Daniel Purvis came to the nation’s attention in 2010 when he became British men’s all-around champion, a double European medallist and world bronze medallist in the same year. Two years later he capped off his Olympic Games debut in London by taking home team bronze, while in 2014 he further cemented his status as a leading international gymnast by winning parallel bars gold and team silver for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
In his first monthly blog, Dan previews the forthcoming World Championships, talks about the advantages of home support and coping with getting older.
My main aim this season was always the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow and now it’s almost upon us. The final Great Britain team was announced earlier this week and it was such an honour to be picked in the men’s squad for the competition which will get underway at the Hydro Arena on October 23. It is an Olympic qualifier and a top-eight finish for the men will result in Team GB qualifying a team place automatically for the Games in Rio next year.
And on top of all that it is another chance to compete in front of a great home crowd. I obviously did it at London 2012 where I was fortunate enough to come away with team bronze. And then representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year was awesome and something I will never forget. I always enjoy competing in front of a home crowd. The support is so loud and it gives you that extra buzz and motivation and brings the best out of you.
Off the back of the Commonwealth Games we have that slight advantage because we have competed in the arena before and won’t be overawed by the occasion. I actually feel really lucky that I am in this cycle of having major competitions at home to compete in. Some athletes go for a very long time without getting to do some of the major competitions on home soil like I have so I am not taking it for granted.
The last time we had a World Championships in Great Britain was back in 2009 at the O2 in London. I competed back in 2009 but I was a lot younger then and only competed in the floor and rings final. But I remember it being a great competition to be a part of. The aim for the Worlds is to first and foremost get to the final and then see what happens but hopefully I can come away with another medal.
The men’s team competition – which sees the male gymnasts compete for Great Britain across the six different apparatus with the aim of achieving the highest score – is a big aim as well and hopefully we can do well there. This year has been really good and has left me pleased with my performances. I’m 24 but I am getting a bit older now so I have changed my training regime a bit to keep up with all six apparatus – the floor, high bars, rings, vault, pommel and parallel bars. But it seems to be working and I was really happy with the bronze at the European Championships in Montpellier in April.
To get that all around medal when I am a bit older is great and it gives me loads of confidence moving towards the World Championships.
I have been fourth quite a lot of times at the last few World Championships – three times on three different occasions actually – so it would be nice to get back on that podium after 2010 where I got a bronze on the floor in Rotterdam.
I would love to show the selectors what I can do ahead of Rio, but I just want to concentrate on getting that top-eight finish and what happens will happen.
This Olympic cycle seems a lot faster than last time. I remember for London everything seemed to take so long but this time around I can’t believe the Rio Olympic Games are now less than a year away – it’s crazy how fast things are happening.
I am just happy that I am in a position to do my best and let the selectors see that I am ready for the challenges ahead.