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Swimmer Dan Wallace is keen to inspire kids

When Dan Wallace watched his Scotland team-mates sweep to medals in the Tollcross pool, he realised he could do the same.

Now he wants his own Commonwealth Games glory to inspire future generations to strive for the top.

Wallace was one of the surprise packages of the Glasgow 2014 swimming programme, storming to gold in the 400 metres individual medley before helping the Scots to freestyle relay silver while pushing Australia all the way.

And the 21-year-old made it a hat-trick of medals on the final night of swimming action when he staged a brilliant comeback to take silver in the 200m individual medley.

Wallace said: "Seeing the other athletes like Hannah Miley, Ross Murdoch, Erraid Davies do so well really inspired me. My success has got to do with watching them.

"After the first few days, seeing the whole of Team Scotland doing so well, it gave me a lot of confidence in myself.

"I just built on that each day, enjoyed it, and really took advantage of the opportunity of having a home crowd."

Wallace took Scotland's pool medal tally to 10 on Tuesday night.

He said: "We might not be the biggest country or have the most people, but we have some of the most patriotic athletes and fans, and we need to remind ourselves of that.

"We can do great things when we work together and believe in one another.

"If more kids believe they can one day win world championship medals, Commonwealth medals, Olympic medals, they can do something great with their lives."

Wallace's bid to encourage interest and passion for his sport was far from passive.

The Florida-based student shouted "Freedom!" after his gold-medal success, having psyched himself up for competition by watching the Braveheart film that depicts the life of his namesake, William Wallace.

And he whipped the crowd up ahead of his 200m swim, raising his arms as he entered the arena wearing the Team Scotland kilt before gesturing to the spectators to raise the volume.

"It was the last night and no matter what happened it was going to be a success," he said.

"I really just tried to embrace it all and take it all in, and I had a lot of fun.

"It's really amazing the support I've been getting and the whole of team Scotland's been getting over this last week. I really just tried to get the crowd involved and hopefully they enjoyed themselves as much as I did.

"It's great for the sport when people get a bit rowdy and really enjoy interacting with the swimmers.

"It might not be the most entertaining sport but, if there are more characters out there like myself who get the crowd involved, it will hopefully raise awareness and get more people involved in the sport.

"Hopefully I can raise awareness of swimming in Scotland and inspire some of the younger generation.

"Team Scotland has a great mix of ages and the future looks bright for us."

Wallace, who aims to experience the Olympics in 2016, added: "This week has been an eye-opener for me and the rest of Team Scotland.

"We have proved we are up and coming and getting stronger every year, and, come Rio, Great Britain as a whole is going to be a really strong team."

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