He became a “Braveheart” in the nation’s eyes when he roared to victory at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games before emerging from the pool yelling “Freedom”.
And now Dan Wallace has an Olympic medal to add to his collection after scooping silver in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay in Rio.
The Warrender Baths Club member and his teammates knew grabbing gold would be unlikely as they lined up alongside an American team featuring swimming legend Michael Phelps.
Team GB – also featuring Stephen Milne, Duncan Scott and James Guy – got off to a shaky start and found themselves outside the podium positions when Wallace took the plunge for the penultimate leg.
The 23-year-old former North Berwick High School pupil, watched by friends and family, gave it everything he had, hauling his way into third place before Guy took over to secure silver from Japan.
And back in Britain, his former coaches and teachers watched on with soaring pride as Wallace made a splash once again.
Laurel Bailey, head coach at the Warrender Baths Club, said: “After disappointment at the British trials, Dan has spent the last four months refocusing and training hard. It has paid off with a fantastic relay split to give Great Britain a historic silver medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
“Warrender Baths Club is very proud of his achievements.”
Lauren Rodger, headteacher at North Berwick High School, told the News: “Staff and pupils at the school were absolutely delighted to hear of Dan’s success in the pool.
“It’s a tremendous achievement for Dan and his teammates, and will certainly inspire and encourage others.”
Wallace – the first athlete from the Lothians to win an Olympic medal in Rio – began training at Warrender in 2008 after starting out at Duns Amateur Swimming Club in the Borders.
In 2011, at the age of 18, he accepted an athletic scholarship to study at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he swam for coach Gregg Troy’s Florida Gators swimming and diving team.
He returned to the UK after the British Championships in April, and has since been gearing up for Rio at Millfield Swimming near Glastonbury.
Stewart Harris, chief executive of SportScotland, who was cheering on the swimmers from inside the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the strong Scottish contingent in the 4x200m freestyle relay made such a decisive contribution in Team GB winning silver.
“I congratulate Stephen Milne, Robbie Renwick [who didn’t feature in the final], Dan Wallace, and Duncan Scott as well as their English colleague James Guy on producing such world-class performances in the heat and then the final.”