Swimmer Dan Wallace: cries of freedom were not a political statement

TEAM Scotland swimmer Dan Wallace said he was swimming for freedom following his medal haul.

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  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
    Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"
  • Dan Wallace said he had been "swimming for freedom"

Despite feeling a bit the worse for wear after a night celebrating his two awards, the 21-year-old said he was delighted with his result.

Just a few months ago Dan had ended up in a US jail overnight after urinating on a police car while celebrating his birthday.

It could have spelled the end of his Commonwealth dreams but instead the brush with the law spurred him on to win.

Dan said: "There were cries of 'freedom' when I won my medal because that is how the other team members know me.

"It's not a political statement, it's because a few months ago I was in a jail cell and now I'm free.

"It was the wake-up call I needed. I want to be the best swimmer in the world and that was enough for me to get my act together."

Edinburgh-born Dan, who trains in Florida, took gold in the 400 metres individual medley before helping the Scots take freestyle relay silver and winning the 200m individual medley silver.

Dan said the Team Scotland swimmers, including team-mate Ross Murdoch, who beat Michael Jamieson to the 200m breaststroke gold medal, had enjoyed a heavy night at Kokomo nightclub in Glasgow city centre to celebrate.

And he also revealed that Michael Jamieson's dad had been left in charge of the medal haul.

Dan added: "Michael's dad held on to my medals for the night. I had a beer and then I went out with all the swimmers.

"I didn't want to take them out with me because I would have lost them or something, so I kept them in safe hands while I was doing my thing. It was great to see all the swimmers out, and hopefully over the next few days we will get to celebrate and watch some other sports."

He also had something to say about Usain Bolt's alleged comment that the Commonwealth Games are "a bit s**t".

Dan said: "Usain Bolt can say what he wants, but from a swimmer's perspective the Commonwealth Games are the highest level that we can compete for Scotland or for England, without being part of Team GB.

"So I think that this is a special competition for us, so he can say what he wants but he can't take back my gold medal."

While Dan celebrated his victory, fellow team-mates Hannah Miley and Michael Jamieson made their way to Merchant City to meet fans.

The event marked a new connection between Team Scotland and Barr's Irn- Bru, with drinks bosses vowing to give athletes extra support through a new campaign.

The two swimmers were thanking their fans who had cheered them on so far.

Michael said: "The Glasgow 2014 Common-wealth Games is the biggest meet of my career. I am thrilled to have the support and backing of Irn-Bru."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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