Further Personal Information
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||His mum took him to classes at his local swimming club in Barry, South Wales, at the age of six.
|Why this sport?
||He needed a hobby.
|Club / Team
||City of Cardiff: Cardiff, WAL
|Name of coach
||He does two 2.5-hour swimming sessions covering 7.5km each, 30 minutes of circuit training and a one-hour gym session.
|Preferred position / style / stance / technique
||Dai Splash. (bbc.co.uk, 21 Aug 2008)
||Supporting Cardiff City FC and playing PlayStation. (swimming.org, 20 Mar 2012)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Winning a silver medal in the 10km open water event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and setting new British and European records to win bronze in the 1500m freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. (bbc.co.uk, 21 Aug 2004; swimming.org, 20 Mar 2012)
|Most influential person in career
||Australian sport scientist Bob Treffene. (British Swimming, 01 Dec 2009)
Coach Dave Haller. "He is the coach that took me from an inexperienced swimmer to an Olympic medallist when I was 19." (telegraph.co.uk, 03 Aug 2010)
|Hero / Idol
||Ethiopia's multiple world and Olympic champion distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and Australia's multiple world and Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett. (British Swimming, 21 Jul 2005; bbc.co.uk, 01 Aug 2009)
||He pulled out of the Great Britain squad for the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai because of form and fitness issues. He was advised to take a six-week break from training and competition to recover from fatigue ahead of starting his preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games. (bbc.co.uk, 15 Jun 2011)
He withdrew from the 1500m freestyle event at the 2010 British Swimming Championships because of physical exhaustion. (telegraph.co.uk, 03 Aug 2010)
He had surgery on an infected foot in May 2006. A slow recovery from the surgery saw him miss the 2006 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (news.bbc.co.uk, 12 Jul 2006, britishswimming.org, 17 Nov 2006)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"You don't have to be mad to compete in the 10km, but if you are it helps!" (bbc.co.uk, 18 Aug 2008)
"I have never been gifted with natural strength but I can churn it out for long periods of time." (telegraph.co.uk, 03 Aug 2010)
|Awards and honours
||He carried the Wales flag at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. (davedavies.net, 20 Mar 2012)
After winning bronze in the 1500m freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, his silver in the 10km open water event at the 2008 Games meant he became the first swimmer to win Olympic medals in both the pool and open water. (FINA World Aquatics Magazine, Feb 2010)
He was voted Best European Male Newcomer in 2002. (uksport.gov.uk, 16 Dec 2002)
||To win a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. (telegraph.co.uk, 03 Aug 2010)
||FROM CARDIFF TO LOUGHBOROUGH AND BACK
In 2007 he relocated from Cardiff to the East Midlands town of Loughborough to work with coach Kevin Renshaw in a bid to improve his chances of a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In July 2010 he returned to his Cardiff base and resumed training under the guidance of Dave Haller, who guided him from childhood into his junior career. "I really enjoyed my time in Loughborough," he said. "The facilities and the environment helped me move on to the next level of my career, but things weren't going as well as I had hoped in 2010 and was beginning to become frustrated from poor performances in training and competition. In order to be ready to succeed in 2012 I needed to change my surroundings. The obvious solution was to go back to the man [Haller] who developed me from a junior swimmer. He knows me better than anyone and I believed he could get me back on track." (bbc.co.uk, 26 Sep 2007; telegraph.co.uk, 03 Aug 2010; davedavies.net, 05 Nov 2010; bbc.co.uk, 15 Jun 2011)
He travelled with Great Britain's squad to the 2011 European Junior Championships in Belgrade, Serbia as a mentor. He shared his knowledge and experience with the athletes to help them settle into the environment of international competitions. (bbc.co.uk, 15 Jun 2011)
He led the field for most of the 10km open water race at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but veered off course in the final metres and the Netherlands' Maarten van der Weijden timed his challenge just right to win by 1.5 seconds. Davies, who described the race as the hardest two hours of his life, was exhausted after the race and needed medical assistance at the finish line. "I gave it everything," he said. "I like swimming from the front but that last lap was a real struggle and the final section was a blur. I was delirious. The stretcher at the end was a bit mad, I just wanted to lie down and have a sleep." (bbc.co.uk, guardian.co.uk, 21 Aug 2008)
Despite competing in open water events, he has a fear of fish. "If I see a big fish when I'm swimming I find it scary. I've always had a fear of them." (thesun.co.uk, 22 Aug 2008)
WALES VERSUS GREAT BRITAIN
He says competing for Wales and Great Britain brings out different emotions in him. "The heart will beat just as fast," he said. "But it's a different beat. Racing for Wales is patriotic, more emotional, racing for Britain is the real business end of competition. It's the pinnacle, what you live for." (The Times, 26 Feb 2007)