McKillop warmed up for London 2012 by becoming the first man to break a world record in the Olympic Stadium. Competing in the Visa London Disability Athletics Challenge three months before the start of the Paralympics, McKillop ran 3:59.44 to knock 15 seconds off his own 1,500m world record, which he had set at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand.
After the race the straight forward speaking Irishman showed he would not be phased by competing at his second Paralympics in front of 80,000.
“It’s only a 400m track with lots of seats around it basically,” was his blunt assessment.
At London 2012 McKillop excelled and despite being aged only 22 ran with the experience and nerve of a veteran middle distance runner that would have made the spectating Seb Coe proud. He won the 800m T37 in a world record time of 1:57.22 and smashed the Paralympic record in taking 1,500m gold in 4:08.11, a time well outside his own world record.
His achievements were also recognised by the wider Paralympic community. At the closing ceremony he was presented with the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award, which is awarded to athletes who have exemplified the best spirit of the Games.
Born in Antrim in 1990 McKillop competed at his first IPC Athletics World Championships in 2006 aged just 16. At the event in the Netherlands he claimed 800m gold (2:02.13) and took 1,500m silver (4:14.81).
Two years later in Beijing at his first Paralympics he took 800m gold in a world record time of 1:59.39.
At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, McKillop was in blistering form winning gold and setting new world records in the 800m (1:58.90) and 1,500m (4:14.81).
Very few people would bet against him doing something similar at the 2013 version in Lyon, France.