“My focus is on preparing myself to swim as fast as possible.”
Fresh from a five-medal performance, including three golds, at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Funchal, Portugal, last month, Great Britain’s Ollie Hynd says he is now ready to tackle the challenges of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
“Yes, I was delighted with my performances at the European Championships,” Hynd said. “It was straight after our trials for Rio, so that was a little bit challenging, but I was happy with my performances and my times.”
Hynd, the defending Paralympic 200m individual medley SM8 champion, finished that race in Funchal in 2:43.85, over four seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Denmark’s Neils Mortensen.
It was the last time he will face some of his principle rivals before he heads to Rio, “so it was great to deliver good times.”
Hynd also won gold in the 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke events at the Euros. He added a silver medal performance in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay 34 points.
His career only started back in 2011 but his list of accomplishments is already so long.
Hynd has won six gold and four silver medals at European championships over the last four years. Over two IPC Swimming World Championships, he has won four gold and two bronze medals. And then there was his Paralympic debut at London 2012, where he won one medal of every colour.
“I am a little surprised,” Hynd admitted. “When I started out, I never expected to have the success that I have. But I’ve worked incredibly hard and enjoyed every moment of the journey so far and that’s the important part for me. But with success comes a little more pressure to keep the success going.”
With the Euros now behind him, Hynd is working harder than ever to prepare for the Paralympics.
“I have a couple of competitions leading into Rio and also, of course, lots of hard work in [the] pool and the gym,” he said. “Competing at Rio has always been the long term goal and as soon as London had finished, I was focusing all my time on Rio.
“I remember how special it was to represent my country on the biggest stage at London 2012 and to think I’ll get another chance to do that in Rio is an amazing feeling,” he went on. “It’s always a massive privilege and honour to swim for my country.”
A typical week training for Hynd is nine to 10 pool sessions and two more sessions on land, totalling about 22 hours a week.
Asked where his principle competition will come from in Rio, Hynd did not hesitate to respond.
“The Chinese and Russian swimmers are always very strong competitors, but also there is now strong competition from American and of course Brazilian swimmers so I think it's going to be a very competitive Paralympic Games,” he said.
“Of course my focus is on preparing myself to swim as fast as possible.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.