They say patience is a virtue and when it comes to Duncan Scott there's no better truth as he looks to add further silverware to his collection at this week’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The 25-year-old from Alloa admitted he's lying-in wait for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, ready to pounce when it matters most.
Scott won one gold and three silvers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, establishing himself at Team GB's most decorated athlete at a single Games and will be back in the pool for his third Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.
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Known for his versatility, the nine-time Commonwealth medallist will be using 2022 as a backdrop to Paris as he continues his hunt for that individual Olympic gold.
With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Scott hopes sharing his story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.
He said: "I think for me it's quite exciting, I'll quite happily sit here and be patient over the next two years, I don't need to rush and prove anything straight away.
"I'll happily sit in the shadows and do what I need to do before Paris.
"I'm looking to better what I did in Tokyo, but I think there's definitely some skill elements I can improve on, these are the finer margins at international level that make such a big difference.
"Whether that's my underwater work, I think I've just started utilising that and on top of that the fly leg as well, getting a bit quicker especially on that 200 IM. I've taken a lot of learnings from that year."
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, Scott is looking for medal success.
Scott seems to make history every time he steps onto the block, and Birmingham will be his chance to overtake shooter Alister Allan as the most decorated Team Scotland athlete of all time.
Entered for nine events in total, the swimmer is doubtful he will compete in them all and is eager to make his mark for Team Scotland.
He said: "It's about making sure that I'm still putting together good races at international level so I can learn, it's all focused on how well I perform in Paris, so what can I learn from the events I'm doing in Birmingham.
"On top of that, at international level now, I won't enter an event unless I think I can win a medal, so I'll be going in no matter what and wanting to medal in all the events that I do.
"Outside, just going there and being grateful to be part of Team Scotland, it's always really good fun and I think it will be kind of a packed programme, but it is what it is.
"There might be less relays but I'm not sure and I'm still definitely really hungry in all my individuals."
In Tokyo, Scott won silver behind Team England's Tom Dean in the 200m Freestyle before anchoring Team GB's 4x200m Freestyle relay to an iconic victory.
But the Commonwealth Games will see the four Olympic Champions split up across Scotland, England, and Wales.
He said: "The 200 free within Britain the entire time I've been a part has been quite competitive just simply because it's so competitive just to make our team. There are so many places that are being fought for.
"I think it's going to be interesting; it's always going to be good fun when we're split up, especially having Matt [Richards] as well so, having three different nations.
"So, if it's Deano that I'm racing, we always manage to get the best out of each other, so we just need to wait and see what happens."
Scott is one of over than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science, and medical support.
He isn't fazed by the added competition and is hungry to race after a tough encounter with Covid saw him pull out of the World Championships in May.
Staying patient for Paris might be the plan but you can always expect a wave of medals from the Scotsman.
He said: "The last three weeks has given me confidence, I would say before that I was still apprehensive about racing, I was a bit nervous.
"I think the biggest thing I've gathered through all of it is being patient with it.
"So many people have dealt so differently with Covid and I kind of really struggled two or three weeks after.
"But right now, I'm feeling really confident within myself, and I wouldn't be here if I couldn't do that.
"I just think two years out from Paris, Commonwealth Games will do me just fine this year and I will get some mental rest just staying away from competition and I will be more than ready to go again next year."
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