Athletes work for years to reach the pinnacle of their sport - but once that dream has been realised a rollercoaster of emotions can come flooding their way – and that’s exactly the case for Kirkby’s Ollie Hynd.
The 22-year-old swimmer won the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley Paralympic titles in Rio little more than 12 months ago, retaining his title in the latter from London 2012.
His success capped what had been a remarkable cycle for Hynd, with four world titles and five European crowns coming his way in the intervening years.
But as triumphant as the highs post-Rio were, the lows were just as all-encompassing and left Hynd wondering where to turn next after seeing four years of hard world coming to fruition.
Twelve months on and Hynd is back on track with his motivation at an all-time high, and retaining his 200m medley title at next year’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast is firmly at the top of his to-do list.
“This year has been a bit of a mixed one really,” said Hynd. “Coming back down to earth from the success and the high of Rio, I had to re-motivate myself and see where I wanted to go over the next four years.
“It was quite difficult, but it ended quite well at this year’s British Summer Championships where I swam really well and broke my world record.
“It’s definitely been a more challenging year than I’ve been used to, mentally more than anything, but to finish it off well was great.
“This season is going to be busy because we’ve got the Commonwealth Games in April.
“I’d love to go to Australia, win gold and defend my title and break the world record. That’s the goal going in.
“Glasgow was such an amazing Games and an amazing opportunity. Representing Team England is slightly different to being in the Great Britain team, but I’d love to get the opportunity to do that again.”
But before 2018 rolls around, Hynd will be looking to celebrate yet again after being nominated in the Para Swimming Athlete of the Year, sponsored by IHG, category at this year’s British Swimming Awards.
This isn’t the first time Hynd has been shortlisted for the gong but he’s hoping it can be a case of third time lucky.
“It’s always nice to be recognised for your achievements and this is the third time I have been nominated,” said Hynd, who is up against Andrew Mullen and Thomas Hamer in the same category.
“It would be really cool to win. It’s nice for us all to come together and reflect on the last year and everyone’s successes.
“If I manage to win, that would be fantastic – I’m competitive so I like to win!
“It’s important to celebrate, we all work really hard so it’s important to come together and celebrate the achievements, as well as looking forward to everything that is coming.”
The 2017 British Swimming Awards celebrate the achievements of athletes from across the aquatics disciplines. Athletes benefit from the support of TYR, the official kit supplier – a company committed to cultivating a culture of greatness, both in and out of the water. Visit - www.tyr.com