The privilege of competing in Team Scotland colours is not lost on cyclist John Archibald and he plans to make the most of the experience in Birmingham.
Edinburgh’s Archibald, 31, will be competing for Scotland for the just the second time at this summer’s Commonwealth Games, racing in five events across the track and road programmes.
He previously raced in the Gold Coast four years ago, winning a silver medal, and will be back at a multisport championship for the first time since then.
Archibald will be one of Scotland’s leading medal contenders in the cycling programme and he is fully aware of how significant the opportunity to race for his nation is.
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With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Archibald hopes sharing his story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.
“It’s always a privilege to represent your country and the fact that it only comes about every four years, you almost need to remind yourself of that,” he said.
“It’s not an opportunity to be missed so with that comes pressure, excitement, a little bit of anxiety and I think it’s one of those things where when you’re on the start line there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of nerves.
“After the event, certainly my experience from it last time is that you look back at it fondly. It’s a pleasure to be here and the fact that it’s in England means it’s been a slightly different preparation.
“It’s my only experience of a multisport games. You’re in an amongst the athletes’ village at some points, you’re speaking to other athletes. I remember last time I was speaking to netballers and rugby players, there’s just a whole mix of sports.
“You know the level of racing here’s going to be high and you can’t leave any stones unturned. It’s a privileged position and I’m looking forward to it.”
This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise of over 250 athletes, and having secured his place on the squad, Archibald is looking for medal success.
Having gone to the Games four years ago with relatively little experience, he hopes his insight into life four years ago - and his experiences since then - will help him this summer.
Archibald added: “I’m hoping a lot, not just from the Commonwealth Games, but from the whole four years, just being in it longer and seeing what works for me and what doesn’t, what things to look out for in terms of preparation and on race day, just race experience.
“There’s a lot less to get nervous about this time and there’s a lot more to be confident about. I’ve also got to be realistic that four years down the line the races have moved on. It’s more and more competitive and it’s harder to have an impact.
“It’s approaching it that way and seeing how you can perform.”
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