Things could only get better for Edinburgh diver Ross Beattie after missing out on selection for the last Commonwealth Games.
On the brink of representing Team Scotland for the first time, Beattie broke his elbow.
What followed was nine months of rehab, two surgeries and endless hours of hydrotherapy.
“That was definitely the most gruelling injury I’ve had so far,” recalled Beattie.
“The injury itself wasn’t the worst part, it’s the rehab when you’re six months in and things go wrong. I had to go in for another surgery and that delayed the timeline by another three months.
“You have to re-evaluate, reset your goals and deal with these things when they come up and hope that you can come out the other side stronger.
“But it meant I had a long time of rehab, relearning different techniques and in the long run it did make me a better diver.”
One week to go to Birmingham 2022!
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— Team Scotland (@Team_Scotland) July 21, 2022
Still feeling the effects of past traumas, Beattie spends the beginning of each training session working through different exercises to guard against any potential flare-up.
Such was his determination to reach Birmingham 2022 that Beattie has put his Zoology degree at the University of Edinburgh on hold.
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, Beattie is looking for medal success.
Following the conclusion of this summer's Games, he hopes to complete his studies before pursuing a career in ecology and conservation.
“I’ve always been fascinated by animals, nature and wildlife,” he explained.
“When I was looking at the courses that the University offered it ticked most of the boxes.
“I found it interesting, and it allowed me to stay in Edinburgh training at the Commonwealth pool with the rest of the team, so it was a very easy decision to go there, it’s a fascinating degree.”
With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Beattie hopes sharing his story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.
Putting his life on hold is just one of several sacrifices that Beattie has had to make, with friends and family having to work around a fixed and extensive training plan.
Beattie has plenty to be grateful for, in particular his parents for forming the crux of a support network which has enabled him to realise his Commonwealth dream.
“We call them sacrifices but they’re all very much willing decisions,” he said.
“We all knew what it was going to take to get to the Games. Everyone has been very understanding of my decisions over the last year.
“Both my parents have been by my side the whole way through. My mum used to drive me to every single training session for about six years, and my friends have learnt we have to plan things quite far in advance but they’re really accommodating.
“It’s dedication on my part but then there are support staff too who hold me accountable and if I don’t do what I need to I get called out.
“We’re just trying to make sure there are no more injuries!”
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