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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 April 2006, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Double gold
On Sunday30 April 2006, Andrew Marr interviewed Gregor Tait, Commonwealth Swimming Medallist

Please note "BBC Sunday AM" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used.

Gregor Tait
Gregor Tait, Commonwealth Swimming Gold Medallist

ANDREW MARR: Well in sunny Melbourne recently, Scotland enjoyed its best ever Commonwealth Games, and the swimmers were the stars of the national squad.

Three of them won two gold medals each, a feat which no Scot has achieved since the legendary David Wilkie dominated the pool some 30 years ago.

Now one of the double gold winners, Gregor Tait, is here with me. But before we talk let's just have a little look at one of those moment of glory.

(film clip)

Welcome, medallion man! That was, these were astonishing Games. We were all glued to the television watching them. I suppose the most obvious question is, why has it suddenly happened - three Scots, you don't train in Scotland.

GREGOR TAIT: No, no, I train in Cardiff. I'm not really sure why it was. I think we just went for the meet and we believed we could well. We were all very relaxed and believed that we had the skills to compete with the rest of the world.

ANDREW MARR: Some people have said that there is a new level of professionalism, particularly in swimming at the moment, that all these highly scientific methods of looking at your stroke, and filming strokes and all the rest of it. And top trainers coming back into the country had something to do with it?

GREGOR TAIT: Yes, definitely. I mean we pretty much have everything we want now. We can analyse everything, everything you can think of is analysed now within the sport. So it gives us the best chance of doing the best at the end of the day.

ANDREW MARR: Do you sit there watching your hand movements and ankles and all the rest of it, as you go through the water

GREGOR TAIT: Yeah, I mean we can, you can analyse how long it takes you to get from the wall to a certain point, and how quick your turns are, how quick your dives are, how quick your reactions are. There's so many things that we can look at now. It's kind of, it's kind of getting a bit too scientific I think, for my liking.

ANDREW MARR: Is it? You've got these, I mean these are fantastic medals. What's the next thing? I mean, are you now focusing on the Olympics?

GREGOR TAIT: Yeah, that's still a couple of years away now. We have the European Championships this summer in Budapest, and then we have the World Championships which are back in Melbourne again. So hopefully we can do the same again, and then it will be the Olympics the year after.

ANDREW MARR: Now, Scotland the Brave played when you were standing up there with all the medals on. But of course, as I say, you trained in Cardiff. At some of these other events you will be representing Britain. So how do you balance, I mean are you, do you feel that you're a Scottish swimmer, or you're a British swimmer?

GREGOR TAIT: Aw no, I'm definitely a Scottish swimmer.

ANDREW MARR: Good, good.

GREGOR TAIT: It's such a privilege when we get, you know, wave the Scottish flag

ANDREW MARR: Tartan speedos!

GREGOR TAIT: Definitely. Even more of a privilege then. But it's so good to, you know, we're such a proud nation that as soon as we get out there and want to represent Scotland you have to do your best. It's such a completely different thing from when you compete in Britain. And we only get to compete in Scotland once every four years, so we grab it with both hands.

ANDREW MARR: We have relatively few Olympic-size pools in this country. And particularly after the Games, and your success, and the others. An awful lot of kids will be wanting to take up swimming. Do you think by and large it's an under-funded sport compared to the track events, compared to football and all the rest of it?

GREGOR TAIT: Well compared to football everything is under-funded. Yes, I believe it is. I think we've done very well off what we've got.

But people need to look at how good we can do with, if we, you know, for instance in Australia they have more 50-metre pools, they have more 50-metre pools in Melbourne than we do in Britain, in Britain as a whole. So that, you know, that's a huge, huge gap that we need to do something about. And hopefully for the Scottish Institute and the government and everything like that we'll be able to pump money back into sport to get it where it needs to be.

ANDREW MARR: Gregor, well I hope a Minister was watching.

GREGOR TAIT: So do I!

ANDREW MARR: Thanks very, very much indeed for joining us.

GREGOR TAIT: Thank you.

INTERVIEW ENDS


NB: this transcript was typed from a recording and not copied from an original script.

Because of the possibility of mis-hearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, the BBC cannot vouch for its accuracy


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