Posted on 18/02/2019 in Men's Artistic
Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medal winner Daniel Purvis has today announced his retirement from competitive gymnastics.
Dan’s impressive international career has helped transform men’s gymnastics in the UK, and includes an historic Olympic team bronze at London 2012, and Scotland’s first team silver at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Dan was first selected to the British Gymnastics junior squad at the age of 10. His first major achievement at the 2008 Junior European Championships, winning team gold and all-around silver, the same year as the first of his six Scottish champion titles. He went on to earn a further gold, three silver and four bronze European medals as a senior.
The four-time British Champion added to his collection at the World Championships with a silver and bronze, and was twice series champion in the World Cup Series. Dan represented Scotland at two Commonwealth Games, earning one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. It was ahead of Gold Coast 2018 when he decided the Games would be his last championships.
He said: “I wanted to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and thought if I had a good Games, I could go out proudly after that.
“It’s a surreal feeling retiring. I think until I stop training it’s not going to hit me fully. So it’s a scary feeling knowing that I won’t be training, competing and doing what i have loved to do for many years. I am certainly going to miss it but on the other hand I have been fortunate enough to start on the elite athlete to coach transition programme and I’m looking forward to new challenges ahead.
“It’s hard to say just one highlight over the years as there has been so many I have had individually and with teammates. However the one that stands out the most for me was the London 2012 bronze team medal. It was always a dream of mine as a little boy to go to the Olympic games but to come away with a medal was something I never thought would happen and I still get goose bumps to this day thinking about it.
“It was an incredible moment and to share that feeling with my team mates was even more special. Achieving it on home soil with my coach, family and friends there watching was even more amazing and something I will never forget.
“It’s been a great honour to represent team GB and Scotland over many years. I am very proud to have been selected for both teams and been part of historic and amazing results over the years.”
Scottish Gymnastics’ head of performance, Sam Hendrikson paid tribute to Dan and his achievements over the past decade. She said:
“On behalf of Scottish Gymnastics, I would like to offer a huge congratulations to Dan for a fantastic career. He is a role model in Scottish sport, for our young gymnasts in particular, and has been an inspiration to them all.
“Dan’s commitment in the lead up to major events and Commonwealth Games campaigns has been amazing. As captain of the Gold Coast team, he really showed his leadership skills, was so calm and collected, and earned the respect of the whole team. With his sportsmanship, approach to training, and focus, we can all learn from him, but more than anything, Dan is a very elegant gymnast and a joy to watch.
“We may have lost our most decorated Scottish gymnast, but the sport is gaining a fantastic coach for the next generation. We thank him for everything he has contributed to the sport in Scotland and wish him all the best for the future.”
Dan will be attending both the Scottish and British Championships giving fans a chance to celebrate his career with him.
You can still buy tickets online until noon on Thursday
Photo: Dan winning Commonwealth Games gold, courtesy of British Gymnastics, photographer Alan Edwards