Peter Kirkbride is no stranger to the Commonwealth Games, having competed at both a Youth Games (Bendigo) and two senior Games (Melbourne & Delhi), but he knows more than anyone that the journey to Glasgow won’t be easy.
“My first Commonwealth Games – the Youth Games, I won gold, but I wasn’t happy with my performance”, he says. “In Melbourne, I broke my wrist then in India I missed out on the gold by one kilo so you could say the Commonwealth Games has always been an emotional ride for me. We’ll see what happens in Glasgow – it’s just your luck on the day, and how hard you’ve been working towards it.”
“It would mean a lot more to make the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as it’s in Scotland”, he continues. “I have the experience of two Games behind me and what’s Scotland going to be like, on home soil? It will be an absolutely fantastic experience and hopefully I am going to be a part of that.”
The Commonwealth Games is an important competition for Peter, with the 2014 Games taking place not far from his home in Ayrshire. “I am determined to make the Games and be a part of Team Scotland”, says Kirkbride. “As soon as I got off the plane after Melbourne, I was straight back to the gym to work even harder to make it to the next Games. What’s for you won’t pass you by and each Games for me has been a learning curve. I’ve got stronger and stronger at each Games.”
“It’s a whole different electricity to compete at a home Games. I got a taste of it in London with the Olympic experience, so I can only imagine how great it will be up in Scotland with the saltires flying. London was absolutely fantastic, but it will be even better here. I live just half an hour from Glasgow, and all my friends and family will be there along with the Scottish public.”
At the 2010 Games in Delhi, Peter put in a fantastic performance to win the silver medal, and in the process entertained spectators as he passionately celebrated his achievement. At Glasgow, which would be his third senior Games, Peter is aiming to go one better and win gold in front of his home crowd.
Peter said: “My medal is in my house, I’ve still to frame it as every so often you get someone wanting you to bring it in to show at the local school or someone wants a picture of you with it. I’ll keep it unframed now in the hope I can add to it.”
“We are working in the gym on a few bits and pieces to make sure I’m at the level I need to be. We’re working on styles, as I changed it a lot before the Olympics. I was still developing it on the road to London; there’s always something changing like my grip or my stance. Hopefully I can get it all nailed this year to where it should be and then focus on building towards 2014.”
You can follow Peter on Twitter @KirkbridePeter
Photo Credit: Alistair Devine