In at the Deep End

By David Davies

As he was once carried off on a stretcher on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Welsh swimmer David Davies used to be celebrating his good fortune. His laborious functionality within the first ever 10 km open water race earned him a silver medal and, extra importantly, a spot in British swimming historical past. yet what used to be working notwithstanding his head as he collapsed from the actual exhaustion of finishing the Olympics' such a lot gruelling swimming race?

This is David's personal tale. the story of the way a standard schoolboy from Barry made the swimming global sit up straight and take become aware of. He talks approximately his selection and force and his lifestyles either out and in of the water.

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My dad works in a silicone plant for Dow Corning as a pipe-fitter, and Mum works for South East melanoma community. My little sister, who's 5 years more youthful than me, has begun collage in Cardiff. either my mom and dad went to varsity in Barry and feature lived there all in their lives. I went to a Welsh-language fundamental college sooner than relocating to an English-language secondary. I’m very kinfolk oriented. i might stopover at my grandparents at weekends and they’d take me right down to the seashore on Barry Island on a Sunday morning and to the fairground.

It was once a step up at the podium and that i took loads of positives out of it. I’d overwhelmed the area champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz into 3rd position. That was once an enormous factor for me. Now I simply needed to retain fit. on the Olympic trials, choice coverage dictated that I couldn’t swim my occasion for Beijing, as i used to be already certified, so I did the four hundred metres freestyle, which was once whatever varied and gave me a few extra self belief. Then from the Olympic trials in Sheffield it used to be off to the realm brief direction Championships occurring the next week on the Manchester night information enviornment, which I didn’t really need to do.

While he was once studying your paintings he may commence flicking your ear if he came across a mistake and begin tugging and twisting it. He’d say, “What are you doing, Dai squared? ” – a funny story connection with Dai, Dai for David Davies. He was once an previous Welsh traditionalist so if we have been ever doing any Welsh poetry he’d commence crying and get fairly emotional. My P. E. academics used to inform me i used to be a rugby boy and that i should still play at the wing. I’d say, “I’m now not enjoying rugby, I can’t injure myself, I’m a swimmer. ” They’d say, “You’re not likely to make it as a swimmer, get in there, get the ball, son, and run.

Did I swim that race the suitable approach? I don’t comprehend. once more I got here domestic with a ways an excessive amount of power left. I nonetheless hadn’t had my excellent race and had picked up the bronze medal back. fairly I must have been a section extra disillusioned and offended at myself for letting Jensen come again like that, yet i used to be chuffed to have received bronze back and proved that the Olympics wasn’t a one-off. i used to be 3rd on this planet opposed to a few impressive swimmers. on reflection on it now, I confirmed weak spot. I didn’t have loads of pace.

I stated, “I can’t go away, that’s unparalleled. ” She informed me that i'd basically get one shot at it; may i actually see myself carrying on with this fashion for a yr? She acknowledged, “Especially should you don’t are looking to do it, is it going to paintings? ” My reaction was once, “I’ll do it, simply because it’s the Olympics. ” Mum replied through telling me that it used to be effortless to assert that, however it will be difficult and i needed to do what was once correct for me. I talked to Dave, my trainer, and he used to be very unsatisfied approximately what I needed to say. It was once one of many toughest conversations I’ve ever had in my existence.

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