Dan Wallace is a an IM and distance freestyle specialist from Edinburgh, Scotland. Wallace says that the 400 IM is the best event, but his favorite event is the 25m breaststroke. Born April 14, 1993 Wallace trained at Warrender Baths Club under Laurel Bailey, and was a multi-time NCAA All-American at the University of Florida. His motto, which is splashed all over his Twitter page, reads “Swim Hard Play Harder.”
After five years in Florida, he returned to Britain to swim at Millfield in the run up to Rio. Millfield is the also the club of James Guy, Wallace’s teammate in the 800 freestyle that won a world title in 2015 and Olympic silver in 2016.
After the Olympics, Wallace announced his move back even closer to home, the University of Sterling. Just 30 minutes away from where he grew up in Scotland.
University of Florida
After a successful high school career Wallace chose UF for its facilities, coaching staff and it gave him the best chance to reach his full potential. Within his first season at Florida Wallace qualified for the NCAA Championships, finishing ninth in the 400 IM and competing in the 200 butterfly and the 200 IM. He also got a spot on the All-SEC Freshman Team. As a sophomore Wallace won his first NCAA title as a member of the 800 freestyle relay. He competed in his first individual final at the NCAA Championships, finishing third overall in the 400 IM – he also came in 11th in the 200 IM. As a junior Wallace had a massively successful season, finishing second in three events including the 400 IM, 500 freestyle and the 800 freestyle relay. During that year Wallace won his first SEC title, and was named the SEC Swimmer of the Week. In his last year as a Gator, Wallace picked up five NCAA All-America honors.
After a stellar junior season at Florida, Wallace made headlines when he was suspended indefinitely from the Gators swim team. It was alleged that Wallace urinated on a police vehicle, and resisted arrest without violence, but he was reinstated for his senior year just in time to win five NCAA All-America honors.
Wallace emerged as a junior swimmer at the 2010 European Junior Championships, but a year later he medaled twice in the 200m and 400m IM at the same competition. After joining Coach Troy’s squad at Florida, Wallace came home to compete at the 2012 British Gas Swimming Championships in London – he finished sixth in both medleys. The following year at Gas, Wallace won bronze in the 200m IM and silver in the 400m IM.
After a successful junior campaign, Wallace debuted at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. At just his first Championships, Wallace made it into the final of the 400m IM, where he finished seventh with a new Scottish Record.
2014 Commonwealth Games
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Wallace took a huge step in his career from making an international final to winning gold. Representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, Wallace won gold in the 400m IM, earning him his first international gold medal. He also added two silver medals with his performances in the 200m IM and the 800m freestyle relay.
2015 FINA World Championships
Wallace’s rise in international swimming continued in 2015 at the World Championships where he became a World Champion as part of the 800 meter freestyle relay. He led off for Great Britain putting them in fifth position. Robbie Renwick and Calum Jarvis followed to move up to third. Then the newly crowned world 200 meter freestyle champion brought it home for GB to take the gold in 7:04.33.
Wallace also made the final in both medley events, just missing the podium in the 200 meter medley, finishing fourth. In the longer event he finished sixth, moving up one spot from his finish at the meet two years earlier.
2016 Rio Olympics
After five years in Florida under coach Gregg Troy, Wallace moved back to Britain to train at Millfield for the run up to the Olympics. Wallace had a disappointing week at the British Olympic trials. His only medal was a bronze in the 400 medley. He finished sixth and seventh in the 200 freestyle and medley, but failed to even make the final in the 400 freestyle. Despite his lack luster performances, he was selected for the Great Britain Olympic squad as a discretionary pick by the National coaching staff.
At his Olympic debut, Wallace won a silver medal as a member of the 800 meter freestyle relay. He was joined by Steven Milne, Duncan Scott and James Guy to touch second behind USA and ahead of Japan in 7:03.13.
Wallace also made the final in the 200 meter medley relay. He finished 8th in 1:58.54.