Ollie Hynd won three medals at London 2012 for ParalympicsGB. He’ll be going for England in the pool, competing in the Commonwealth Games SM8 200m individual medley event.
How’s training going?
Training’s been going really well. I’m just trying to get a lot of work in before the Commonwealth Games because it’s coming up soon.
How do you approach training as you get towards an event? Do you stretch and risk injury or be cautious and risk not being in your best possible condition?
At this point we’ve still got two months so we’re still going pretty hard – in the full swing of things and then after another month of really hard training, things will start to back down ever so gradually. Then the two weeks before the race we’ll back off quite a lot and just rest really.
How have things changed since London 2012?
I’m more experienced now, I think. Internationally, I’ve been to the European Championships, I’ve been to the London Games and we also had World Championships last year so I’ve sort of done all the major internationals apart from the Commonwealth Games so I think experience and knowing what to expect. At the Commonwealth Games it’s going to be like a village environment again so it’ll be like London.
You’re a senior figure on the team then, despite your age. What have you said to other athletes like Tom Harmer, going into their first Games of this scale?
I’ve been to all of the internationals so I’ve sort of been there and done it I suppose. I guess the advice I’d give would be just to enjoy it. I think that if I have one regret from London, it would be that I didn’t enjoy it more and take everything in.
Are you still working across all three of your swimming events?
Well, for the Commonwealth Games, for the para-events, I’ve only got the SM8 200 individual medley but straight after the Commonwealths we have the European Championships so there I’ll be swimming my full programme.
As far as which is my best; I’m trying to be the best at all three. That’s my goal. I want to be able to swim multiple events and be able to swim at the top level.
Who is your closest rival going to be?
Australia’s Blake Cochrane; I‘ve raced against him and he’s a good swimmer and he also went to the Paralympics.
Have you ever competed in Glasgow before?
We had our trials for both Commonwealth and Europeans up in Glasgow just over a month ago so I was up there for two weeks, racing at Tollcross, so we got a good feel for the pool and the surroundings. We drove past the (Athletes’) Village and it was still being built and it was looking fantastic so it’s really exciting.
Does it help you to ‘visualise’ success?
Yeah, seeing it and just getting a taste for what it’ll be like is definitely important because as much as we need to prepare physically, obviously, mentally as well, we need to prepare ourselves. I’d never been there before so being able to see the pool and race there has been beneficial.
Do you feel a responsibility to show what disabled people can do?
We want to showcase what we can do and show other disabled people what they can do too. I think the most important thing that people took from London was that you don’t have to be a Paralympian; you don’t even have to compete. It’s important to just take part in sport and take part in physical activities. Just get active and set yourself goals and push yourself.