DUNCAN SCOTT is ready to submerge his brain in his degree to help propel him to Olympic success.
The 21-year-old University of Stirling swimmer won a Scottish-record six medals at April’s Commonwealth Games and four more, including three golds, at August’s European Championships in his native Glasgow.
Scott was a full-time business and sport studies student when he made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016, claiming two relay silvers and reaching the 100 metres freestyle final.
And now Scott is ready to step up his studying and complete his degree, which he is now embarking on part-time and includes a dissertation – all while bidding for multiple Olympic success at Tokyo 2020.
“Olympic year is quite a big one and the dissertation’s got to come at some point,” Scott told Press Association Sport.
“My first year of uni was in 2016. I take it as a positive distraction.
“I enjoy uni, because it takes my mind off swimming. The second I enter the gym or the pool that’s it, I’m focused, I’m ready to go.
“When I get out I start stressing with uni.”
Scott has enjoyed a stellar 2018 to be named the inaugural athlete of the year at the National Lottery Awards.
The only blot is an ankle ligament injury which should not unduly delay him. April’s Great Britain team trials for July’s World Championships in South Korea are the next target.
Scott has had numerous highlights in 2018, including his 100m freestyle win on the Gold Coast ahead of home favourite and Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers.
But his personal favourite was winning European 200m freestyle gold at Tollcross in Glasgow.
He added: “Once every four years you get to represent Scotland and that’s so different to representing Britain. You get a different feeling.
“And going to Gold Coast and racing the Aussies on their home turf was incredible.
“But in the same year to then compete in front of a home crowd, that was really special.
“The 200 freestyle at Europeans, getting to race in front of a home Glasgow crowd was amazing.”
Read more: Duncan Scott: The story behind Scots swimmer’s success as he leaves another tournament with massive medal haul
Scott was thrilled to be honoured by the National Lottery for his performances this year, but his focus now turns to the future.
“I’m delighted with the award. I’m incredibly grateful for all those who went out and voted,” Scott added.
“Witnessing some of the stories the volunteers do and the charity work that’s done was incredible.
“I’m delighted with the last year. But we’re always looking for continual improvement.
“I think I can carry confidence over, but each year you’re starting from scratch.”
Duncan Scott is the winner of ‘Athlete of the Year’ at this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search to find the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded athletes and projects.
The National Lottery Awards 2018 will be broadcast on Wednesday, September 26 at 10.45pm on BBC1. To find out more visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk