Duncan Scott can inspire other Scottish swimmers to push boundaries and go on and achieve a lot more at the top end of the sport on the back of his six medals in the Commonwealth Games, say his retiring team mate Dan Wallace.
Scott, 20, was the star for Team Scotland in the pool on the Gold Coast, winning six of the nine swimming medals.
And as he announced his retirement from the sport last week Wallace – who himself won two medals at the Games this year – said: “Duncan is an immensely talented guy. I was almost in a similar situation four years ago, but he’s that one step ahead of where I was.
“Four years ago, I thought I could win three medals, whereas he’s got that little bit extra where he’s thinking, ‘I can win six-plus medals’, which is just a whole other ball game.
“People need to believe that they can do that as well. I never had anyone in my team who I thought could achieve a thing like that. For him to be able to do that, it shows that other athletes, other swimmers can go beyond what the norm is.
“There are people in other teams who are doing what he is doing, but for him to do it for Team Scotland is just great because it gives people hope.
“Duncan is doing a great job of it now.”
Scott is flattered to be compared with Andy Murray – and he hopes to use his own success in his sport to help it grow north of the border just as the tennis star has done.
The swimmer will return to Scotland this week and even this most dedicated of individuals may allow himself a few days off to celebrate before training restarts ahead of a busy summer.
And the hope of swimming fans in the country is that Scott’s achievements can transcend the sport and see coverage and participation grow during the rest off 2018.
His results at the Optus Aquatic Centre in Australia have seem some compare the University of Stirling athlete to three time tennis Grand Slam winner Murray.
Modest Scott is not one to take compliments readily, but he admits that he wants to help swimming stay in the headlines on a more regular basis off the back of his great Games.
“To be compared with Andy Murray at anything is massively flattering. He’s a household name within Britain and most of the world, an absolute star,” Scott said.
“Swimming has always struggled with that cycle of interest, that kind of influx of TV viewers for the Olympics and then it goes away and comes back for the Commonwealth Games.
“British swimming has helped it – since 2012 we’ve had a good increase in medal counts in big events and Adam Peaty especially is putting our sport on the map in Britain.
“He’s been nominated for Sports Personality of the Year for the past three years, and he’s ranking higher and higher each time.
“That can only be a positive for the sport, and for myself, because it’s getting people watching TV and thinking about swimming.
“So if I can be a part of that, great. Until then I’ll carry on riding the wave and see where it goes.
“I’m a Learn to Swim ambassador so I’d like to see a rise in kids being able to learn to swim. it’s hugely important, it’s a life skill so if that’s possible, it would be great.
“Secondly, we have some great talent on the youth side of Scottish swimming right now, if I can see them come through in the next six to eight years and really show their talent and keep their hard work going then that would be fantastic.”
Thanks to Team Scotland/Jeff Holmes for the photos
The Commonwealth Games took place in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15