Dave grew up in Davis California. By middle school he was playing basketball and football. Later he was a water polo player at Davis High School and then went on to play at UC Davis where he began to focus on swimming. Scott competed in and twice won the Waikiki Rough Water Swim, part of the Global Open Water Swim Conference.
In 1978, US Commander John Collins created the Ironman Triathlon out of three existing races including the Waikiki Rough Water Swim. "Collins gave me a flier and said 'you ought to do this thing.' I looked at it and saw 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run and turned to him and said 'that's a long three days,'" Scott said.
Dave went on to win the Ironman® World Championship Triathlon 6 times! In 1993 he was the first person to be inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame. His nickname "The Man" was given to him by his peers for his intense training regimes and his unrelenting race performances. At the age of 40 he took second at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon and nearly won for a 7th time! At 42 he was 5th overall running the marathon in 2:45.