Glasgow 2014: Gymnast Daniel Purvis dreaming of podium finish

By Jane Lewis & Cheri BurnsBBC Scotland
Scottish gymnast Daniel Purvis is going for gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Scottish gymnast Daniel Purvis is going for gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July to 3 August
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

Daniel Purvis insists the spirit of Scotland's gymnasts will help them earn a place on the podium at Glasgow 2014.

Purvis will be making his Commonwealth Games debut when he competes in the team and individual events within the men's artistic schedule.

And, the 23-year-old is hoping the Games signal another first - a triumph for his country in the team programme.

"We look really strong and we all get behind each other," he said. "It's like you're in a little bubble."

He told BBC Scotland: "Gymnastics is quite an individual sport, in the sense that you're alone when you actually compete, but it's the best feeling when you win something together as a unit.

"I think the main thing is that we get a medal as a team because Scotland have never had one at this level, so it's really exciting to think we could do that that.

"We've got five men who can cover every piece, and as long as we remain focused on what we have to do and hit as many routines as cleanly as we can then we're going to be pushing for it."

Purvis is also determined to shine when he enters the SSE Hydro for the individual contest.

He added: "I've always wanted to compete for Scotland at a Commonwealth Games and to do it in a home arena will be fantastic. It'd be great to get in the top three and go for as many finals as I can. I dream of being up on that podium and gold would be the ultimate.

"It helps to know that, if something goes wrong, we have the support of the crowd but if you think too much about what might happen it could affect your performance. So, I try to block it out and just concentrate on my targets."

Scottish gymnast Daniel Purvis is going for gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Scottish gymnast Daniel Purvis is going for gold at Glasgow 2014

The resolute athlete knows the path to glory will not be easy, acknowledging he and his team-mates will have to be at their very best to challenge the likes of Canada, Australia and England.

This rivalry with his peers from south of the border is all the more pertinent for the three-time British all-round champion, who was born in Liverpool and trains in Southport with coach Jeff Brooks, as well as some of the English squad.

"England will be very strong, definitely. We all train together and there's been banter from the start," he joked.

"We're all friends at the end of the day but obviously we want to beat each other, and it's great we're all pushing to get the best results."

Purvis is no stranger to success, having been part of the Team GB contingent that clinched bronze at London 2012.

And, as he explained, that achievement not only changed his life but also changed the face of the sport.

"Since then, gymnastics has been in the public eye more, which is brilliant. After the Olympics the waiting list for my own gym doubled. It's great to see kids wanting to watch me train and a privilege to be an ambassador for my sport.

"The bronze was so unexpected. There was always the chance of getting into the team final and we went there to enjoy it. It was amazing to come out and have everyone perform as well as they could.

"Every performance counts now. It's felt like a long career for me, and has been quite difficult at times, but at the end of last year I started to get my form back. That's going to be very important in Glasgow. I'm really excited to hopefully fulfil my ambitions."