DAN McMILLAN cut an emotional figure as his London 2012 handball journey came to an end yesterday – but he insists it’s so long, not goodbye to the sport.
To a man the GB handball team have had a varied and sacrifice-laden journey to the Olympics – McMillan a relatively recent convert from American football, picked out by talent recruitment scouts.
That journey culminated in making history at London 2012 as the first-ever GB team to take part in an Olympic Games.
On the playing side of things their final foray into action ended in similar fashion to their opening four games – a plucky defeat, losing 41-24 to reigning Olympic silver medallists Iceland.
However in that defeat McMillan, 29-year-old from Sway, admitted their London Olympic journey was defined – a journey that he was only too pleased to have been part of.
McMillan and co and the sport at large now face an uncertain future. London 2012 has witnessed unparalleled investment in sport with teams like handball created from near-nothing in order to fill host-nation spots at the Games.
With the Games moving on to Rio for 2016 the expectation is that minority sports might be living on borrowed time. McMillan is adamant that should not be the case but also has his own ready-made contingency.
“I am going to get involved with American football again a little bit I think but I definitely want to keep playing handball as well,” he added.
“We want handball to have a future in this country. There has been some dialogue already about what the next move is for the sport and so hopefully the funding will be there.
Full story in today's Daily Echo