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'The thing I'm most proud of is to be a Christian': Team GB swimmer Dan Jervis praises God for his Olympic participation

by Kelly Valencia

Team GB swimmer Daniel Jervis has thanked God and his family church for their support during his Olympic participation. 

"I want to thank my village, obviously, of Resolven and I want to thank my church, Sardis Baptist Church, Ammanford church in Ammanford, who have really been supportive of me and everyone back home has been praying for me. 

"I am proud of many things in my life, but the thing I'm most proud of [is that] I'm a Christian and obviously, God was with me tonight, and I'm just really greatful to be representing him," Dan Jervis told the BBC just after he finished his last race of the games. 

The 25-year-old from Resolven in Wales was baptised in Sardis Church, where his father, Jonathan Jervis is a deacon. Last month, Jervis told the BBC programme Sunday Worship he was brought up in a Christian household and recalled a moment where he felt the presence of God. 

"I remember in the 2016 Olympic trials and everything was going well. I was going into the final and I remember a feeling of God being very close to me just before my race.

"I was thinking to myself there's a reason why I feel he's very close to me right now - because I'm ready to do this. In the race, it didn't go well. My race plan fell apart completely. When I got home, I remember thinking to myself, what just happened?

"It took me a few weeks to realise that I was feeling the presence of God more strongly than ever because I think he knew that I could not deal with this on my own," Jervin said. 

He continued: "When you are in the presence of God it is not a weird feeling, you feel very calm and safe. I pray before every single race. I don't so much pray to win, and he knows that."

"There is a particular verse from the Bible that is my favourite, and which stays with me. It is on the back of the Bible that my church gave to me and I have it tattooed on my arm. It is Deuteronomy 31 verse 6: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not be terrified before them, because the Lord your God is going with you. He will not abandon you and he will not forsake you."

Jervis finished fifth in the final of the 1500 metres freestyle event but said he's determined to come back stronger next time.

"I wanted the British record. I mean, I was kind of going into this race, not thinking about the time but deep down, I wanted the British record and that's held by a Welshman, and it's going to be beat by a Welshman mean soon.  I wanted it to be tonight. But, you know, it'll be sometime in the future."

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