A HERO’S welcome awaited swimming sensation Ollie Hynd after finally arriving back on his home turf of Ashfield tonight (Friday).
The Paralympian, who picked up a gold, silver and bronze medal during the recent games had a party thrown in his honour at Kingsway Park this evening.
Hundreds gathered and cheered on the courageous 17-year-old, who suffers from degenerative condition neuromuscular myopathy, which weakens his legs, as he made his way onto the stage in Team GB tracksuit with his trio of medals around his neck.
He was already given a huge ovation during Monday’s night’s homecoming party in Mansfield, along with Paralympic silver medallist Charlotte Henshaw, double bronze-winning Olympian Becky Adlington, and badminton star Chris Adcock.
But for Ollie, who still attends Ashfield School, it was tonight’s welcome that signalled that he had arrived home.
He arrived at Kingsway Park in a limousine, accompanied by his parents, and took to the stage to a chorus of cheers and screams.
He said: “It’s awesome, I hoped I would be here four years ago, it’s a dream come true.
“It’s not been easy, people just see the end result but it’s taken years of training.
“It’s humbling to see this support [in Ashfield], it means everything, thank you to everybody.”
Ollie picked up a gold in the individual 200m medley, a silver in the 400m freestyle and a bronze in the 100m backstroke during the recent games.
The 400m freestyle race even became a family affair, with Ollie’s brother Sam picking up the bronze. The 21-year-old, who suffers from the same condition as his brother, was unable to attend the ceremony due to commitments in Swansea where he now lives.
But it was not just Team Hynd that was being celebrated tonight, torchbearers and Olympic and Paralympic gamesmakers from the Ashfield area were also brought onto the stage, along with local sports coaches, including Ollie’s swimming coach Glenn Smith.
And while there was plenty of entertainment for youngsters with a bouncy castle and climbing wall, the Linby Colliery Band also played a selection of songs, including Chariots of Fire as Ollie made his way to the stage.
Vice chairman of Ashfield District Council, Coun Linford Gibbons said: “How quickly four years has passed. This time four years ago we welcomed back Sam Hynd from a gold medal-winning performance in Beijing and here we are welcoming Team Hynd once again, alongside some of our Ashfield residents who played a part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”