In September, along with 26 other athletes, Mark Dry had his place on Team Scotland confirmed for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Scotland’s top Hammer Thrower found out the news firstly from an email, soon followed up by his official selection letter sent by Commonwealth Games Scotland. “As soon as I was allowed to tell people, I of course first let the Twitter world know and rang my parents. I’m delighted to be selected and it is a great little boost going into winter training.”
“I keep all my selection letters and that sort of stuff in a little folder, I actually still have all my stuff from Delhi in there. But this one means a lot more, I am honestly really proud. But as for the hardware, I let my parents up in Burghead store and polish the medals and trophies.”
Raised in Burghead, Moray, Mark was self-labeled at school as a “Shy little fat kid” who struggled to fit in with the sporting environment during his early years, preferring to keep himself to himself. However, encouraged by his Dad to attend Air Cadets that classifies sport as mandatory, Mark took part in an athletics competition.
“I didn’t run or jump so they put me in the Discus and it all just snowballed from there. I actually went onto win the Scottish counties and represent the UK Training Core Team. It felt amazing to be good at something!”
At 16, Mark got into Hammer Throwing and won the Scottish Indoor Championships just five weeks after starting the sport: “It was the first time I had won anything in my life. I sucked at football, had no skill unlike my friends, so winning something for me was a big change.”
Since then, Mark has gone from strength to strength, with the pinnacle so far representing Team Scotland at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
However, a dark shadow still hangs over him when he thinks about his non-selection for Team GB at London 2012, despite throwing the qualification distance.
“Last year was really frustrating. I had thrown the furthest and in my eyes, I fully deserved to make the Great Britain team. However, they picked someone who threw further in a competition that didn’t count and which was before the qualification period, that upset me. I’m massively sore about it and I’m still carrying a chip on my shoulder.”
Currently based at Loughborough University and with winter training now underway, Mark is fully focused on his sport and out to prove the Great Britain athletics selection committee wrong. Ranked number one in the Commonwealth at the end of the 2013 season and with Team Scotland selection under his belt, Mark has his sights now firmly set on fulfilling his potential at Hampden Park next July.
You can follow Mark on Twitter @Markdry
Photo Credit: Mark Shearman