“I was around 85 per cent happy with my performances in Rio. It was a dream to win two gold medals and break two world records, but I had set myself the goal of three golds and five medals, which I didn't achieve.”
Despite winning three medals and breaking two world records at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Great Britain’s Ollie Hynd is somewhat disappointed with his performance.
The 22-year-old won two golds and a silver in Rio, improving on his results at his Paralympic Games debut in London 2012 where he won gold, silver and bronze.
In the final of the 400m freestyle S8, he stormed to victory in a blistering performance which put him almost four seconds in front of his closest rival, and knocked almost two seconds off his own world record in the process.
He also retained his title and claimed a world record in the 200m individual medley, in a very close race with just over a second separating the top three finishers.
Hynd is happy, broadly speaking, with what he achieved at the Games in Rio.
“My aims...were to swim best times in all of my races that I competed in, and to try and get my hand on the wall first and win gold medals and break world records...so the Games were a great success,” he said.
However, he did not quite achieve the targets that he had set for himself: “I was around 85 per cent happy with my performances in Rio. It was a dream to win two gold medals and break two world records, but I had set myself the goal of three golds and five medals, which I didn't achieve.”
Hynd had good reason to believe that this goal was feasible, after achieving exactly that at the European Open Championships in Funchal, Portugal, in early May 2016.
He won three individual golds and a silver medal, and also won bronze in the team relay.
Although he won the 400m freestyle S8 in Funchal, he was disappointed at the time to have just missed out on the world record, which he then later achieved in Rio: “I am very happy to have broken [the world record] in Rio!”
“I was a bit nervous and unsure as to what the Games would be like considering the press leading up to Rio, but for me it didn't matter what the conditions were like as I had trained hard for four years and wouldn't let anything stop me from swimming fast. Of course, when we got to Rio, everything was amazing and it turned out to be a fantastic Games.”
In Rio, almost as much attention was focused on Hynd’s newly bleached-blond hairstyle as it was on his sporting prowess. “Maybe it brought me some luck! I think it will now be my Games tradition to dye my hair platinum blond,” he said.
In common with many of his fellow competitors, he is taking a break from swimming at the moment, but still has his sights set on the next Paralympic Games.
“I am currently taking some time out of the pool to recover from four hard years of training, and to reflect and set myself new goals leading into Tokyo 2020,” Hynd commented. “I will be aiming to defend my titles!
“I wanted to go under the 4:20 mark [in the 400m freestyle S8 in Rio]...I didn't quite get my goal time, hopefully that will come next time.”
“I think not quite achieving everything will drive me forward and help with my goals towards Tokyo.”
If Hynd competes, his next major challenge will be the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City from 30 September – 6 October.