Aspull's Dan Bibby aiming to bow out on a high at Tokyo Olympics

Aspull’s Dan Bibby states he was ‘emotional’ after being named in Great Britain’s Rugby Sevens squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 3:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 3:10 pm
Dan Bibby (Getty Images)
Dan Bibby (Getty Images)

The 30-year-old says that 18-months of uncertainty surrounding the sport impacted his reaction to finding out the news.

He said: “I immediately dropped my head and was quite emotional when Rocky (Tony Roques) said, ‘Congratulations, you’re in.’ It’s been such a crazy year, so much has happened in my life, so it was a culmination of everything, and all the sacrifices now seem worth it.

“We had individual 10-minute slots for our meetings, before heading straight home so there was no hanging around whilst people were in different head spaces.”

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Bibby states the news started to feel real when he was kitted in his Great Britain gear out for the forthcoming tournament.

“It was the first time when the actual squad of 13 were together, so we could all share the excitement and joy, which was pretty cool,” he said.

The Great Britain team has this month been in LA competing in a warm-up tournament alongside Argentina, Kenya, USA and South Korea.

Having previously competed at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, Bibby is one of the more experienced members of the Britain squad.

“I think my experience as a player can definitely help some of the younger lads on the pitch,” he said.

I’ve been in a lot of different scenarios over the years and those types of pressure moments will hopefully come off.

“I think our squad is talented, so doesn’t need too much input, we are going to the Olympics, so every little detail and effort is being pushed by everyone.”

Despite this being his second Olympics, Bibby can’t hide his excitement to be part of the squad, especially if this is his swan song in the sport.

The 2016 silver medalist said: “No matter how old or experienced you are, it’s still an Olympic games, so it’s the best feeling ever to be selected. Who knows if this Olympics will be my last tournament, but I want to try to enjoy every moment.

“With the travel and commitment, it will probably be my final competition.

“I’ve got a young family at home, with my wife working full-time, so it’s not the right balance for me anymore.

“Although I love Sevens, it’s taking its toll. I’ll still be playing rugby at some level, but I’m not sure where yet.”

Bibby is hoping to finish on a high in Tokyo and better the silver he won in 2016.

He added: “The aim is to win, it’s as simple as that. All the hard work has been geared towards getting that gold.”