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Dan Highcock: Paralympics medal chance slipped through our fingers
A disapponted Dan Highcock following the match against the US at the Paralympics. Picture courtesy SA Images
DAN Highcock admits he doesn’t want to see a basketball again for a couple of weeks after a heartbreaking loss to the USA in the Paralympics.
The defeat by 61-46 meant the GB Bulldogs lost out on a medal on home turf and left the squad distraught.
Back in St Helens at his home on Speakman Road in Dentons Green, the 30-year-old said: “I felt like we let a good opportunity slip through our fingers. That US side is not the best we have played against, so it was there for us to win.
“The defeat had a huge effect on us. I said I would have taken any medal in London over winning gold in Rio. It was so special and we will never experience anything like that in our lives again.
“Since I’ve been back, I’ve felt a bit flat and down. It’s a weird feeling. I’m supposed to have a couple of weeks off, but I went to the gym, because my head was buzzing. But there’s nothing you can do now, so you have to learn from it.
“After the game, we went to the four corners of the court and I had tears rolling down my face. I was in awe of how responsive the crowd was. They were all on their feet.
“It was amazing and to get a medal in that atmosphere would have been fantastic.”
Wheelchair basketball was arguably one of the standout sports of the Paralympics, with thousands watching every match.
Dan said he has been inundated with messages on Facebook and Twitter from people asking when they can next see a game.
The former Cowley High pupil, who plays professionally for Spanish side BSR Valladolid said the coverage has been great for the sport: “I’ve played in front of big crowds, but to have them all hell bent for you to win makes a massive difference.”
He said the atmosphere in the Paralympic village was “great”. “All the athletes from other countries were really friendly. “There was a great buzz about the place. And the food hall was as big as Tesco next to Langtree Park.”
Dan is expected to jet off back to Spain in a fortnight to start pre-season training, but has already played 68 games so far this year.
As he took his place alongside athletes at the spectacular closing ceremony, he admitted one memory does stand out: “I was about ten feet from Rhianna and thought she was going to look at me. It looked like she was turning round to look at me.
“Well she was in my head anyway,” he joked.