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Greetings from the Far East,

Just call me David Davies, friend of the stars!

I've been hanging out in the Olympic village with some basketball heroes and the great Michael Phelps, the new Olympic gold medal record holder.

I was chilling out the other day when the United States' basketball 'Dream Team' strutted over as naturally Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, two icons of American sport, would want to spend their down-time with a boy from Barry!

I bumped into that huge Chinese basketball player Yao Ming as I walked back from breakfast the other day. Well, bump into him is probably the wrong phrase as at 7ft 6ins, you can hardly miss the guy. He's a giant!

I've huge respect for Phelps, a fellow swimmer and an absolute legend of our sport.

It's hard to believe that he's a couple of months younger than me yet Phelps has already broken the record for Olympic gold medals.

Winning just one would be the realisation of a childhood dream for me, but to win eleven is a phenomenal achievement which can be put on a pedestal with any great sporting milestone.

Going back to star-spotting for a minute, my room-mate and fellow Welshie Tom Haffield topped the lot when he had breakfast with the great Rafael Nadal.

Eating your four Weetabix while chatting with the Wimbledon champion and world number one tennis player isn't something that happens everyday to a 20-year-old lad from Neath.

But that's a reason why the Olympic Games is so special because Tom will never forget - and probably not let me forget - about the day Nadal wanted to share his morning meal with him!

With so much potential star-gazing, I'm surprised I haven't seen Patrick Moore around the Olympic village somewhere.

But seriously, it's important for me to not to get star-struck as among this company is where I rightly want to be.

I don't want to be a minnow that is just at an Olympics to fill up his autograph book so I cannot get distracted by star-spotting.

My Olympic bronze medal from Athens 2004 is something I'll treasure forever but that's in the past, I want to better that this year.

I'm here to do myself, my family and my country proud, I'm here to do something special.

I want people to say 'Look who's over there? It's David Davies, Olympic swimming champion.'

Not to fulfil any ego trip but I've worked hard since I was a little kid. I have a single-mind focus to become the best and winning an Olympic gold would be the fulfilment of a mission as well as a dream.

The day of reckoning is almost upon me as I start my 1500m freestyle Olympic bid and I'm chilled.

Everyone says how relaxed I am. Even my mum told me the other day 'you're smiling more on TV than you do at home' but I'm calm and in a very happy psychological place.

I know I've done all the work required so why be nervous, I've just got the cash in all of the training for some Olympic bling!

There's obviously a buzz and adrenalin deep inside but I've got to contain that until Friday (1115 BST), ready for when the starting gun goes.

I've ignored all the potential distractions of the Olympic village; I'm totally focused on the job in hand.

Yet I have nothing to prove to anyone.

People talk about expectation and pressure but I'm only just ranked inside the top ten in the 1500m, so if I do anything it'll be something of a shock.

But I've made some tough choices in order to give myself the best chance of Olympic success.

I left home and Dave Haller, my coach of 14 years at Cardiff Swimming Club, to move to the British Swimming's HQ at Loughborough where the national coaches, medical back-up and support services are based.

I had become stuck in a rut in Wales and I trained on auto pilot, the drive wasn't there any more and I felt I was training just for the sake it.

I lost the buzz and thrill of training. It is hard enough swimming 80k a week, but it's even tougher if you don't enjoy it.

I needed to get out my comfort zone and needed a new stimulus.

Cardiff is a great club and I felt physically sick when I told Dave how I felt, it was the hardest decision of my life - but Dave's a top coach and great man-manager, he understood.

But the move has made me more mature, broadened my horizons and I've even learned how to cook!

Seriously, though, I didn't want to die wondering and it has certainly given me a new lease of life as I'm training with older, more experienced guys who you compete with in training.

We'll soon see if my big decision pays the ultimate dividends.

Wish me luck.

Swimming star David Davies, 23, from Cardiff, won an Olympic bronze medal in 1500m Freestyle at the 2004 Games in Athens and competes in that event again in Beijing, as well as the inaugural 10km Open Water event. His previous diary entries are on 606. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


Comments

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  • 1. At 3:09pm on 13 Aug 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    Best wishes, do the best you can and you'll be able to hold your head high whatever happens. Give 'em hell!

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  • 2. At 3:41pm on 13 Aug 2008, SportsUnited2009 wrote:

    I agree with Ryushinku, just do your best.

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  • 3. At 6:07pm on 13 Aug 2008, wingergirl wrote:

    Everyone back home is already so proud of every one of the GB athletes, and we'll still be proud no matter what happens, but i wish you all the luck in the world, and i am crossing my fingers for you!!

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  • 4. At 8:45pm on 13 Aug 2008, royalsfanmike wrote:

    Best of luck David!! All British swim fans will be rooting for you. Assuming you make the final ok, race it like your last ever race and leave the pool knowing you could have done no more. Hopefully that will be enough for a medal - maybe even the big G. Cheers.

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  • 5. At 8:57pm on 13 Aug 2008, smellslikesalmon wrote:

    Really enjoyed the blog, sounds like an amazing experience. All the best, will be cheering you on.

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  • 6. At 10:42pm on 13 Aug 2008, Frontrowboy wrote:

    Good luck David!! All the best from one of Dave Haller's old pupil's.

    Make the country proud!

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  • 7. At 00:20am on 14 Aug 2008, U10896839 wrote:

    Good Luck David - my 3 kids are all City of Cardiff swimmers and I know the whole club is behind you all the way.

    Bring the Gold down to show us all after the Games, and don't forget to do the ayatollah on the podium.....





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  • 8. At 06:22am on 14 Aug 2008, tennetta wrote:

    all the best.

    you can bring your medal down to eze bar ;)

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  • 9. At 07:50am on 14 Aug 2008, holy-moley wrote:

    I think David will win a medal in the open water. At least there are no heats where the British management team can rest him so he misses the final.

    Kaitlin was rested from the 100 m for the relay and then rested from the relay. Did she go to the Olympics to be rested or to swim? How would the British management deal with Phelps. 8 events, not possible, you might get a bit tired!

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  • 10. At 12:38pm on 14 Aug 2008, Brekkie wrote:

    Best of luck both in the pool and in the open water.

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  • 11. At 6:47pm on 14 Aug 2008, Commercial Breakdown wrote:

    Great to hear how the Olympic experience is going for you and what it has taken for you to get there. The best of luck for your events!

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  • 12. At 9:15pm on 14 Aug 2008, ChicagoTafia wrote:

    All the best for tomorrow mate, bring home the gold boyo..

    Cheers

    The Chicago Tafia

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  • 13. At 1:55pm on 15 Aug 2008, Ryushinku wrote:

    Congratulations on qualifying for the final!

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  • 14. At 9:54pm on 21 Aug 2008, JassicaDavies wrote:

    David Davies did very well for the game, but he needs to improve his manner after the game.

    He threw watter from his bottle to the body of a lady offical, who was trying to tell him the victory ceremony started and ask him to go to the podium for his silver, after several other officals failed to persuade him.

    David was talking to the media when the ceremony had started. He felt interupted so he shouted to the officials to shut up then threw bottle water to the lady who urged him for being late for the ceremony.

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  • 15. At 00:13am on 22 Aug 2008, iris78 wrote:

    David davies, what a shame!

    A shameless silver 'winner'!

    You could not beleive he threw a water bottle on the face of a kind Olympics lady offical just because she recommended him to go to the victory ceremony soon!

    Everyone understood his exciting for the silver medal but what he did to other only can proof he also is a big loser in his personality. I think his rude representation make our all British Olympics Athletes shameful even after lots of excellent shows!

    David davies, learn how to act like a civilized person please, if you still want we call you 'friend of the stars'!

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  • 16. At 09:29am on 23 Aug 2008, bowie0909 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 2:09pm on 23 Aug 2008, jasonvivi wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 5:50pm on 23 Aug 2008, pdavoorid wrote:

    Hi, David:

    You did very well for the game! But you lose

    your personality! RESPECT!

    The lady is not a officer she is a volunteer!

    Everyone wait for you for ceremoney but what did you do,,Threw a bottle of water on the face of a Lady! a Volunteer!

    Such a gentleman.Show the word what Olympic Spirit is really like!

    Shame on you!

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  • 19. At 6:01pm on 23 Aug 2008, granbell wrote:

    SHAME ON YOU!!!

    You should apologize to the lady.

    you don't deserve a medal at all, go back to UK! you're just a stupid cow.

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  • 20. At 6:18pm on 23 Aug 2008, pdavoorid wrote:

    Hi, granbell :

    Ya, Shame on him.

    But please do not say "stupid cow" ,

    Although he did not know what is respect , we still have to "respect"him.Shall we?

    I do not care where dose he come back and also come from,but ...



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  • 21. At 6:39pm on 23 Aug 2008, granbell wrote:

    Hi pdavoorid,

    alright you got the point.

    i shouldn't call him 'cow' as 'cow' deserves more repect than this super hero.

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  • 22. At 6:53pm on 23 Aug 2008, adamholmgaard wrote:

    maybe he is just like Marjorie Dawes, the Fight Fighters woman from Little Britain.

    He can't say SORRY!

    SHAMEEEEEEE!

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  • 23. At 7:47pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    Delete comments and forbid entry!

    The British show us what is the freedom of speech!

    shame on you and BBC!

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  • 24. At 7:47pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    A totally shameless and ill breeding hoodlum should stay in Britain.

    you are not qualified to take part in Olympic.

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  • 25. At 7:47pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    Your silver medal should be forfeit.

    The rogue without spirit of the Olympic dont deserve medal.

    You will always be a loser.

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  • 26. At 7:49pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    The british media think such a disgusted Hooligan as hero! Is Britain just a land of hooligans, nothing more than that?

    (The national performance director of Britain Scott joked: "He was just shaking a champagne bottle, nothing more than that.")

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  • 27. At 7:50pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:


    Maybe the british media want tell the whole world, the "gentleman" and "Hero" are alternative appellations of Hooligan in Britain.

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  • 28. At 7:50pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    In fact, confuse right and wrong is a British tradition, as the British had done for hundreds of years.

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  • 29. At 7:50pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    The British Team and David Davies must apologize to the female volunteer in PUBLIC. She did just her duty to help the athlete.

    If the British Team dont make an apology. This is not only the shame of David Davies, but also the shame of "great" Britain.

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  • 30. At 7:50pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    David Davies and Scott are not the individual now. The British Team is represnting Britain in Olympic 2008.

    shame on such effrontery British and the he British Team!

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  • 31. At 7:50pm on 23 Aug 2008, happyally11 wrote:

    Shame on the British press with tradition to confuse right and wrong!

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