||18 Apr 1986
in Dundee, SCO|
Further Personal Information
||Partner Hannah Powell, daughter Lexi
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He began weightlifting while training as a gymnast at age 12 in Holyhead, Wales.
|Why this sport?
||His potential was spotted by his physical education teacher. "We had a physical education lesson and I thought we were going to play football or rugby but we were dragged into the gym to lift weights. Six weeks later I was told I'd won a competition called Britain's Strongest Schoolboy. My teacher said he wanted me to compete. I wasn't too keen but I gave it a go."
|Club / Team
||Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting Centre [HAWFC]: Wales
|Name of coach
||Ray Williams [club], GBR; Dave Sawyer [national]
||Gaz (bbc.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018)
||Supporting Wrexham Football Club. (Twitter profile, 05 Sep 2019)
|Most influential person in career
||Coach Ray Williams, and his parents. (dailypost.co.uk, 18 Apr 2013; britishweightlifting.org, 01 June 2012)
||In May 2017 he underwent surgery on a double hernia. He returned to weightlifting training 11 weeks later. (Facebook page, 29 May 2018; bbc.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018)
He underwent minor surgery in March 2016, returning to competition a month later at the 2016 European Championships in Forde, Norway. (britishweightlifting.org, 12 Apr 2016)
In 2016 his hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were ended due to injury. (bbc.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018)
In 2014 he broke his nose after he was headbutted by Australian weightlifter Francois Etoundi at the Commonwealth Games athlete village in Glasgow, Scotland. (dailymail.co.uk, 31 Jul 2014; telegraph.co.uk, 31 Jul 2014)
Injury forced him to withdraw from the 2013 British Championships in Bangor, Wales. (britishweightlifting.org, 2013)
|Awards and honours
||He was chosen to carry the Queen's Baton in Wales as part of the relay ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (dailypost.co.uk, 10 Mar 2014)
||His partner Hannah Powell has represented Great Britain in weightlifting and competed for Wales in the 49kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (dai-sport.com, 06 Apr 2018; SportsDeskOnline, 10 Nov 2015; jomec.co.uk, 12 Mar 2015)
||GOLD COAST REDEMPTION
He made up for his disappointment at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, by winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. "This medal has been 20 years in the making for me, but it still feels unreal. I missed out on a medal in Glasgow [in 2014] and vowed I would never miss a medal again. I have let that spur me on for the past four years." (dailypost.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018; bbc.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018)
He works as a coaching assistant at the Canolfan Brailsford Sport Centre at Bangor University in Wales. (bbc.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018; dailypost.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018)
FOOTBALL DREAM COMES TRUE
In 2018 he was selected to launch the new home kit of Wrexham Football Club. "I've been a Wrexham fan longer than I've been weightlifting which I started at the age of 12. I'm a Wrexham fan, my dad's a Wrexham fan, and his dad's a Wrexham fan, so there's about 150 years of supporting Wrexham between us. To be the VIP, the special guest at the launch of the new kit is a dream come true." (rhyljournal.co.uk, 08 May 2018; welshnewsextra.com, 30 Apr 2018)
In 2011 he gave up his job as a painter and decorator, and parted with his daughter Lexi for a year, in order to train at the Great Britain Performance Centre in Leeds, England, ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "I left a career, a full-time job, the house that I own the mortgage of and a three-year-old daughter. I left my partner - I'm not with her any more - and I left my friends and family. In fact, I left my life in Wales. I also left my personal coach and my gym and it's been a massive change of lifestyle. I hope one day when Lexi is older she can be proud of me and understand why I did it.” (bbc.co.uk, 06 Apr 2018; dailypost.co.uk, 21 Jun 2012; mirror.co.uk, 22 Jan 2012)