Daniel made the choice to switch from Inline Speed Skating to Ice Speed Skating at the age of 19, after becoming junior world champion on wheels two years running he started looking to the future and deciding what he wanted to do with his sporting career. He switched his focus to the ice because Long Track Speed Skating is an Olympic sport, and it was his goal first to compete for Australia at the Winter Olympic Games.
In 2014 he achieved that goal competing for Australia in Sochi in the 500m and 1000m events. It was the best competition season he ever had, having won bronze at the World Championship just weeks before the games, unfortunately at the games itself, crashing in his best event. It is well known that the sports in the Winter Games are more volatile and crashes are just part of the game, however it was still a missed chance.
Having switched sports and pushed to the elite level so quickly, it put an enormous strain on Daniel's body, particularly knees. After the 2014 games he needed to have surgery on both knees, which ended up being far more extensive than he had expected. The rehabilitation too was complicated and fraught with unexpected issues, he had developed neuropathies in both of the knees which more than doubled the rehabilitation time, having to first rehabilitate the chronic pain then to focus on physical function.
In no way does Daniel feel a victim though, it was his decision to switch sports and push his body so hard. That determination is what helped him to so far be the most successful long track speed skater Australia has ever had, it is what drove him to come back again after extensive injuries, and it is what makes him believe without a doubt he will be fast again. This first season back he already stepped into the top 10 once.
With two seasons behind of no results at all, due to the rehab, government sports funding it not strongly diverted his way. In a sport where two of the events at the last games were decided on the thousandth of a second, preparation really matters. He knows what he need to have a shot at being the best, and last time he had that was 2014 when he reached the podium. Daniel has invested more than two years getting his body and mind ready for this coming Winter Games, he needs support to surround himself with professionals(physiotherapist at events) and do things right(very healthy food, efficient travel planning), that will convert that hard work into results for Australia.