GLASGOW, Scotland, May 31. DAVID Wilkie, a multiple Olympic medalist who won gold in the 200-meter breaststroke for Great Britain at the 1976 Games in Montreal, is supporting a push by Glasgow, Scotland to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. While promoting the United Kingdom Schools Games, Wilkie also took time to emphasize that Great Britain is making strides in the development of its young swimmers.
"The more we can develop sport in Scotland and use events like this to give children of Scotland an opportunity to take part in a high-profile event is absolutely fantastic," Wilkie told BBC Sport. "It is always great to have major sporting events in your own backyard. While Edinburgh was very successful in the handling of the Commonwealth Games in 1986, there was never really a structure built affecting the whole of the country and attracting people to sport. It was just an event. But I believe Glasgow will be broader as they want to do have general sport in Scotland rather than just have an event in the city."
Wilkie stated that he believes Caitlin McClatchey and David Carry have the ability to lead the British contingent into the Beijing Olympics in 2008. At the Commonwealth Games, McClatchey roared to gold in the 200 and 400 freestyles while Carry was the victor in the 400 free and 400 individual medley. Wilkie viewed those efforts as confidence boosters for other young Brits.
"What I have seen in the past with British and Scottish swimmers is we didn't invest," said Wilkie. "But now we are doing that and the swimmers can train anywhere in the world and have a great opportunity to get it right. Hopefully, this time, they can."