Former champ offer advice to Games athletes
COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Bundaberg's Allan Davis says it's a bit surreal watching Taryn Gollshewsky compete on the world stage.
The former international cyclist knows exactly what Gollshewsky and other athletes are going through as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games, which start tonight on the Gold Coast.
He's been there before.
Davis competed in two Games in his career, in 2006 in Melbourne and 2010 in Delhi, winning gold in Dehli in the men's road race.
He was the last Bundy athlete to win gold at the Games.
Now, as he looks back on his career he also remembers meeting a young Gollshewsky when he was at the top of his game.
"I was talking at Elliott Heads school and met a young girl at the time that turned out to be Taryn,” he said.
"My parents actually were next-door neighbours with her teacher at the time.
"She then asked to meet me in person and been very good friends ever since.
"I've been following her career the whole time since then.”
Davis said he would make sure he tunes in, however he can, from his current home base in Europe.
The former Tour Down Under race winner said the best advice he could give her was to be as relaxed as she can.
"It's a big event so you have to stay confidently relaxed,” he said.
"Don't let all the hype get to you.
"Make sure when you wear the green and gold you give it that little bit extra because you are wearing it.
"It's a special time in your life.”
Davis said the same advice applied to Bundaberg's other two athletes Aaron Kleinschmidt and Ameliaranne Ekenasio, minus the green and gold for Ekenasio who is playing for New Zealand.
He said that competing at home should also be an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
Davis competed at home during the 2006 games and said the buzz from the crowd on the road during that day gave him inspiration to finish on the podium.
"Competing at home gave us all a little extra bit of confidence,” he said.
"Take all the pros of competing at home and soak it all in.
"Competing on home soil should give you extra intensity to perform well.”
Davis said he rated his gold in 2010 as one of the highlights of his career, higher than the other successes in his international career.
"My dream was always to wear the green and gold,” he said.
"I knew about the Commonwealth Games before the big races because that was all I saw on television.
"So to win was amazing.”
Davis said he hoped all of our Bundaberg athletes did well.
"I wish our athletes all the best,” he said.
"And to those that missed out, keep trying because it is only a matter of time before you compete as well.”