HE may have returned home a Commonwealth Games gold medallist but it was back to work as usual just days later for shooter Dan Rivers.
The 23-year-old was victorious in the 50m rifle three positions event on Tuesday, July 29.
But just days after standing proud on the podium in front of thousands in Glasgow, the Oxford Audi technician got straight back under the bonnet at his workplace in Garsington Road.
There was no hero’s welcome, with Didcot Town Council saying it had nothing planned to honour the medallist and few recognising him in the streets.
Along with fellow Didcot medallist Ben Watson – who won bronze in weightlifting’s 105kg event – the pair’s success meant if Didcot were a country it would have finished 19th in the medals table, above Grenada. A total of 71 nations took part.
Mr Rivers returned to work with a round of applause from his colleagues.
They helped him make his dream of bringing a gold medal back to Didcot come true by offering to switch weekend shifts with him so he could join Team England training sessions.
He said: “It means the world to me. I had dreamt of the finals beforehand and actually getting into them and performing to my best in them, it has been an absolute dream.
“ust to represent my country was a really proud moment.”
His gold medal win came after his success in the 10m air rifle where he won bronze.
Dan Rivers celebraties his victory
Despite being back at work, the Wantage Target Shooting Club member is still coming to terms with the moment he realised he had won gold.
Mr Rivers said: “It was a bit of a shock. As I took the last shot, it was so hard to even keep my eye on the shot because of the adrenaline pumping.
“I didn’t really know what to do to celebrate when I won.
I just chucked my stuff on the floor and put my arms in the air and just soaked it in.”
The medals will now sit in the trophy cabinet of his grandparents, Michael and Jean Hill, at their home in North Moreton. Mr Rivers said: “I don’t even think I would be competing if it wasn’t for my grandad because without him showing me the way I definitely would not have made it as far as I have.
“He has really given me the drive and passion and he is in my mind when I shoot because I know I am doing him proud.”
Mr Rivers said he struggled to balance his full-time job and his Commonwealth Games training, dedicating 25 hours a week to evening sessions.
He said: “It’s been a struggle but winning the medals is an amazing feeling and has definitely made it worthwhile.”
The shooter has used all his annual leave to attend competitions throughout the year and compete in the Glasgow games.
But Oxford Audi bosses have given Mr Rivers an extra five days off as a reward for his achievements.
With the extra time he hopes to take girlfriend Vicky Campbell, 23, on holiday to thank her for her support.
He said: “She’s been really supportive with me just disappearing and getting in at odd hours.
“I owe it to her to take her away on holiday.”
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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