Ross Davenport and David Carry have both completed an Olympic hat trick after competing in London, their third Games. Ross and David, who both chose to race in blueseventy, produced outstanding performances to reach Olympic finals in Britain’s greatest Games since 1908.
The freestyle stars now turn their focus to life on dry land. Ross, an ambassador for blueseventy, is moving from swim to saddle as he attempts a 450km charity bike ride across Zambia in October with fellow swimmers Rebecca Adlington OBE, Joanne Jackson and former swimmer Melanie Marshal. He’s also in the midst of planning for his wedding, as is David who will be tying the knot to fellow Olympian Keri-anne Payne. The pair took the time out from their wedding planning to catch up with us and chat about their Olympic experience and what life holds next for them:
London was your 3rd Olympics, congratulations! What will be your lasting memory from the Games?
David: “I think more than anything it will be the feeling of walking out for my first ever individual Olympic Final to a wall of noise. It was such a special moment that I will never ever forget. It was the culmination of years of hard work and effort from so many people, all just to get me in to that final. I've got goose bumps just writing about it!”
Ross: “The support we received, not only the 17,500 in the Aquatics centre but the whole nation. It was just incredible to have that backing.”
What was your favourite thing about being at a home Games?
David: “The home crowd was a huge part of the home Games, but what I really appreciated was the level of understanding and appreciation of the hard work that goes in to becoming an Olympian. The endless hours of training, the enormous amount of love and support family provide and general dedication required. The home Olympics really highlighted all this as people joined us on our journey far earlier than any previous Olympics in which I have be involved.”
Ross: “Everything was so easy. The volunteers spoke English, it was easy to get around and find things out. It made the whole game stress free.”
If you had the chance to re-live one Olympics out of Athens, Beijing and London, which would you choose and why?
David: “I would walk out to my Olympic final in London every day. The feeling of joy, pride, accomplishment and to know that many of my friends and family were there to share in that moment was an incredibly special moment.”
Ross: “Athens and London. Athens because we narrowly came 4th so I would go back and try and change the result and London purely because of the home crowd!”
If you could win an Olympic gold in any sporting event other than swimming, which event would you chose and why?
David: “I think it would have to be the Men's 100m! The focus, prestige and all over in under 10 seconds, amazing!”
Ross: “I wouldn't turn an Olympic Gold medal down in any event. I would have to agree with Dave and say Men’s 100m Athletics, just because it’s the blue ribbon event.”
Why did you choose blueseventy to race in at London?
David: “I chose blueseventy quite simply because I felt they were the best suit on the market for me. I intentionally do not sign any agreement with suit manufacturers so I can have the freedom to choose the suit that suits me! And for me it was blueseventy.”
Ross: “I honestly believe it is the best suit on the market. I wouldn’t have worn it if I didn't believe that.”
So other than wearing blueseventy (of course!), do you have any top tips for any swimmers wanting to follow in your footsteps?
David: “The reason I got into swimming was because I loved it and I was with my mates. I also found that by setting myself goals and working towards them every day it was much easier to improve and I love getting better!”
Ross: “Hard work. In swimming you can't afford to take short cuts.”
So who inspired you when you were young?
David: “I had a headmaster at school that went to the Olympics and from a very early age I realised that it was possible to become an Olympian as someone else had done coming from a similar background to me. It certainly planted a seed in my mind from an early age.”
Ross: “Nobody really, I never believed I could go to an Olympic Games until I had actually qualified for Athens in 2004.”
You’ve had a great career, are you considering hanging up the nero’s now, and if so what’s next for you on dry land?
David: “Well the very next thing on my agenda is to get married to Keri-anne Payne. We are both very excited (and busy!) preparing for that huge event. Once we have achieved that mile stone we will sit down and assess the options. With Glasgow 2014 on my doorstop it's going to be a hard one to turn down, watch this space!”
Ross: “I've not made any plans for the future yet, but next month I’m doing a charity bike ride across Zambia with some of the other swimmers. We hope to raise £50,000 for Sport in Action and HIV/AIDS hospice care in Lusaka, and I’m auctioning a pair of the blueseventy Olympic jammers to help reach the target. If I do retire I would love to stay involved in sport and especially in swimming. Next month.”
How did you propose to your girlfriends?
David: “I am terrible at keeping secrets so as soon as I'd decided that I was going to ask Keri-anne to marry me, I got the ring and asked her in the space of two days! For those two days I was in Aberdeen whilst Keri-anne was in Manchester and I wasn't able to speak to her!”
Ross: “I took Claire to Paris on a surprise trip and proposed at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower.”
How romantic! Have you had much of a say in the wedding plans?!
David: “Yes we have both been very active in the wedding plans. We work pretty well as a team so we looked at this project the same as any other. We've actually had great fun planning it!”
Ross: “Wedding plans are coming along nicely. It’s only a few months to go and we're enjoying make the decisions together.”
Finally, what has been your most defining moment during your career that you will always remember?
David: “Over the last ten years of my career there have been some amazing highs and difficult lows and this year has really epitomised my career. I started the season really well then was hit by my first major back injury in December. After getting over that with the help of my incredible support team, I missed my Olympic place at the first trials by 0.2secs. I reassessed what I needed to do to make the Olympic team, made a couple adjustments and put everything into the second trials. I swam a best time at the age of 30 and two months later made my first individual Olympic final. So I would say this season encapsulates and actually defines my swimming career... Up to now!”
Ross: “Mine has to be the 2006 Commonwealth Games. To win the Commonwealth Games was more than I ever thought was possible.”
Well thank you for your time, good luck for your weddings and for your Zambia bike ride Ross!
If you would like to sponsor Ross and his team on their charity bike ride, you can make a donation at http://www.justgiving.com/zambiacycle.
Follow Ross on Twitter: @SwimmerRoss
Follow David on Twitter: @davidcarry