Derek Oliver brings back the golds

Congratulations on winning two gold medals! How does it feel?

It’s brilliant. It was my first Commonwealth Games and to come back with two medals is just unbelievable… And two golds is even better!

Let’s rewind a bit. You arrived in Australia days before your first match – how did you train in the run-up to that?

We arrived on the 25 March and that day had a practice, mostly to try and keep us awake! On the Monday and Tuesday we had a game against a club side and state side, then on the Wednesday we went down to the Village. We did have time off though, because there was a lot of countries trying to practise at the same time – and they allocated each of us two-hour slots.

Did you think a medal could be on the cards for you?

Scotland is one of the strongest teams at bowls so we knew we always had a chance of medalling. But when you’re playing over there it’s always going to be difficult; though we were confident of coming back with a medal of some sort.

Derek Olivers two gold medals in boxes

Do you have any rituals before playing?

Not really, other than always having music on in the background and a few games of table tennis which actually turned into a bit of a habit!

How did you feel winning your first gold in the Triples?

It was the first medal Scotland has ever received in the triples and the triples is probably the hardest game of them all. We knew once getting to the later stages of the game we had a strong chance of winning. I still don’t know how I feel to be honest – you never got much time to think about it! Once the game was over, you were talking to the media, and then straight into the fours the next day.

So you didn’t even have time to register you’d just won a gold medal… And then you won the Fours too!

The Fours was strange because we knew we had a chance of winning the finals – against Australia again – but when we won it, we actually felt exhausted! After being there for three weeks, our bodies were done. It was a big relief to win.

So what’s next for you?

It’ll be a pretty quiet year, as there aren’t any major tournaments. The next one will be targeting the World Championships in 2020 which is back over in the Gold Coast, and then Birmingham in 4 years’ time.

And last question for those who were watching on TV… What happened to your mascots?

My kids were dying to get them, so I gave the mascots to them once I got home – they were very impressed! The mascots actually had golden, silver or bronze jackets on.

Find out more!

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