Sevens silver sealed but a greater challenge awaits for Bibby

Sevens silver sealed but a greater challenge awaits for Bibby

02 September 2016 / 15:16

Fresh from Team GB’s rugby sevens success in Rio, Dan Bibby is showing off his silver medal to anybody and everybody, and rightly so.

But there’s one particular person whose neck he can’t wait to hang his precious metal around.

Because for the 25-year-old, the greatest challenge still lays ahead – the imminent arrival of his first child.

It’s fair to say 2016 has been a whirlwind of a year for Bibby. He’s seen first-hand the boom in sevens’ popularity, he’s got a baby on the way and he popped the question to his now fiancée, Katie – and got his own bit of silver bling too.

So how does the Wigan man go about topping his summer of his dreams?

“I feel like I’ve peaked at the grand old age of 25,” he said, speaking at the Crabbie's National Rugby Awards. “I’ve got engaged, got a dog, won an Olympic medal and I’m about to become a dad, so I don’t think life can get any better.

“I wish the baby would hurry up though, because we’ve only got a week and a half now until we start pre-season training.

“It’s very cool though, to come back from winning an Olympic medal to have an even bigger challenge ahead of me.

“I can’t put it into words what the past few months have been like for me. It’s so strange having so many people congratulating us, who have watched and supported us throughout the summer.

“It’s amazing for us too to see how many people are saying they enjoyed the sevens despite not following the game before. I’m trying to milk this feeling for as long as I can.”

Rio saw rugby make its first appearance at the Olympic Games since 1924, and debuted the sevens format of the sport.

Team GB’s men romped to the final, overcoming the All Blacks to top their group, before seeing off Argentina and South Africa en route to the gold medal match.

And while the final didn’t go the way they had hoped – losing 43-7 to Fiji, for whom the gold was their first ever Olympic medal – Bibby insists silver capped an incredible journey in red, white and blue.

“Being part of Team GB was just an awesome feeling. We are exactly that, a team, and it was so surreal going down to breakfast with the likes of Tom Daley, chatting away like you actually know each other,” he said.

“I can’t describe with words what it means to me to be an Olympic medallist. I feel like a kid at Christmas every day, and I just can’t wait to tell everyone about it and show them my medal.

“After the first game against Kenya, Mitch [captain Tom Mitchell] and I were chatting and we couldn’t believe that we were finally Olympians. Now, we can say we are Olympic silver medallists and that’s incredible to say, I’ll never get bored of it.”

And for Bibby, the surge in rugby sevens’ popularity means the sport can only flourish further.

“Rugby sevens has definitely grown since the Olympics so it’s going to be really exciting to see how far we can take it,” he said.

“I think it’s going to blow up. Because of the support we received during the Games and after, and because of how many people loved it, it can only get bigger.

“I think come Tokyo 2020, it will be one of the most popular sports, everyone will get really excited to watch it, and hopefully I can be a part of that.”

Sportsbeat 2016

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