Daniel Jervis has been attending Sargis Baptist Church in Resolven, Neath, all his life, and was baptised there earlier this year.
On Tuesday he produced a strong finish at the Games in Glasgow to come third in the 1500m freestyle and earn a bronze for Wales, surprising even himself.
‘I’m shocked,' he said immediately afterwards. 'It is not anything I expected and I can't believe it.’
Many celebrated his performance, with former Commonwealth gold medallist Sharron Davies MBE tweeting a picture of him on the podium and positive reports
of his performance across the media.
His church, naturally, were delighted too. Minister Fortunato Santos said, ‘We were all expecting Daniel to do well, but before the Games he wasn’t so sure.
‘Members of the church, all the village have been watching, it’s been great. As he grew up here he used to show us the medals he won in local competitions.
‘His father Jonathan, who is a deacon here, used to take him to training at 5am, so it’s a great reward for everyone.’
Fortunato said, ‘He is very committed in his faith – he speaks about it on Facebook, he attends different meetings here. We’ll have a nice reception for him when he comes back.’