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 latest blog, Dan Purvis previews a crucial couple of weeks for his Rio 2016 dream, training tactics and British support
Read more about Dan on his Homegrown Heroes profile here
It’s crazy how quickly things have come round and to think four years has passed since London 2012. I’ve really enjoyed this Olympic cycle, there have been some highs and some lows but I feel I am a much better gymnast.
I feel like in London I was the new kid on the block, I’d only really broken through to the world stage in 2010. Whereas now, there’s a lot of younger guys coming though and catching us up so we have to keep pushing on.
I was really pleased with how the European Championships went, especially as it was a big stepping stone towards Rio.
The silver medal we won as a team was a great achievement. Champions Russia were very strong – one of the strongest teams I have seen in a few years – but we put on a good show nevertheless
We were also missing World pommel horse Champion Max Whitlock through illness and he would have probably picked us up a few more marks so that bodes well for the Olympics.
I did all six apparatus again which was hard work but I’ve always been an all-rounder so it’s what I’m used to.
I made the floor final too. It did not quite go to plan in the final itself, it was a busy few days and I think it caught up with me a bit. But I really enjoyed it regardless.
Since then I’ve just been in the gym preparing. All the fitness work has been done, so it’s a case of fine tuning my routines and making sure they are the best they can be.
A lot of it comes down to what happens on the day in the competition so I’ve been doing a lot of controlled competitions in training with my coaches judging me on one-off routines. It helps focus your mind and gets you used to that one-off pressure.
Normally after a major championships like the Europeans, you would have some time for a bit of rest but it’s tricky with the Olympics coming up, especially as we’ve got trials.
The first one is this weekend at Lilleshall and then the London Open the weekend after that will have a bearing on things.
If I made the team it would be massive, I’d love to do four or five pieces and I’d love to do the all-around but at the end of the day it comes down to the selectors.
Just because you’ve been to an Olympic Games before doesn’t mean you get any special treatment. Everyone will be going out there to impress and to try and fight to get on that team.
British Gymnastics is so strong at the minute that no one is guaranteed a place and like I said, the younger gymnasts are very promising.
We’ve got people like Nile Wilson who has established himself and then Brinn Bevan who is coming back from a series injury wanting to make the team.
At the moment Rio is all I am thinking about. I’d love to be involved with gymnastics for a while yet and keep getting picked for teams.
Competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 is something on my mind too and that is two years away so I feel there is a lot left in me. I’d also like to get more involved in coaching and perhaps train a bit closer to home more after the Games.
But like I said, for the moment, it’s all about Rio and making sure I do my best at these trials.
I’m so grateful for all the support I get from family, friends, coaches, members of the public. It will be great having Great Britain getting behind us once again in Rio and hopefully I can do them proud.