Commonwealth Games blog: Dan Keatings
Well it’s finally here and I really can’t wait to compete at the Games in Glasgow and to hopefully, finally, add a Commonwealth Games medal to my collection. I am even more determined this time, especially after being forced to withdraw from the competition in Melbourne 2006 after suffering multiple stress fractures to my lower back and after missing out in Delhi 2010 due to it clashing with the 2012 Olympic qualifications. The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne was my first major international and it remains one of my main goals so I really can’t wait to finally get the opportunity to cross it off my list.
In Melbourne I had a great start to my competition and I really thought I was in with a chance of claiming a medal for Team Scotland, only to cruelly have my competition cut short. This was obviously a major disappointment for me and it was something that was really difficult to accept, especially after I was told that I had to stop all training for a minimum of six months. It was only through the continued support and the belief of my friends, family and coaches that I managed to gradually recover and to get back to full fitness just in time to claim a silver medal on the Pommel Horse at my first senior European Championships in 2007. This is something I could not have achieved without the support of the people closest to me.
When I started gymnastics I dreamt about competing at all of the major competitions, including the European Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games, and to claim a medal at each event. To date I have been lucky enough to have competed at all of them, but I am still missing a Commonwealth Games and Olympic medal, which is something that keeps me motivated every day in the gym and something that I hope to rectify in Glasgow. On top of this, I am very proud of my Scottish roots and I have a lot of relatives from both my mother’s and father’s family living in and around Glasgow, so to compete for Team Scotland in front of a home crowd in Glasgow will certainly be the proudest moment of my career to date.
The Commonwealth Games is one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar; add to that a home crowd in Glasgow and there will certainly be some extra pressure which will test my nerves to the limit. I am no different to anyone else and I go into every competition with a bag full of nerves; it is only my experience that allows me to focus on and believe in my routines that gets me through every competition.
I quite often get asked how long I prepare for major competitions like the Commonwealth Games. Well I have been preparing for the Games all my life, as it is remains one of my major goals; the fact that it is in Glasgow in front of a home crowd just makes it even more special. My actual physical preparation for these games started in January 2013, just like that of all the gymnasts in Team Scotland, as we all had to go through a series of selection competitions against some very good gymnasts to even earn a spot on the team. The team has been training together now for over four weeks, which is an important part of building our team spirit and getting our tactics just right for the competition. WE HAVE A GREAT TEAM … BRING IT ON!!!
Good luck, Dan!
Dan Keatings will be competing in the following events:
Wednesday 30 July
Individual All-Around Final
Thursday 31 July
Apparatus Finals (Floor, Pommel Horse, Rings)
Friday 1 August
Apparatus Finals (Vault, Parallel Bars, Horizontal Bar)