PARALYMPIC swimmer OLLIE HYND: We need to create opportunities for you to discover your passion

PARALYMPIC SWIMMER OLLIE HYND: We have to create opportunities for you to discover your passion … there are a lot of people who come late to their sport

  • Go team swimmer Ollie Hynd was a London 2012 Paralympic gold medalist
  • Now he’s trying to inspire a new generation of Olympic and Paralympic stars
  • Hynd is one of the stars of Team GB helping the “From Home 2 The Games” program
  • The program tries to promote competitive sport among young people

Swimming has always been a passion of mine, but we didn’t necessarily have opportunities like this to try different things.

My inspiration came from my older brother Sam who was also a Paralympian.

He went to the 2008 Games, won a gold medal, and I had the chance to go to Beijing and watch.

Ollie Hynd of Team Go was a London 2012 Paralympic gold medalist in swimming

Ollie Hynd of Team Go was a London 2012 Paralympic gold medalist in swimming

Now Hynd (right) is trying to inspire a new generation in 'From Home 2 The Games' program

Now Hynd (right) is trying to inspire a new generation in ‘From Home 2 The Games’ program

Seen with my own eyes, being in the gaming environment, I wanted to be a part of it. Then, in London 2012, I managed to join the team and win medals.

It was a dream come true. Now obviously Tokyo is coming up so someone might be inspired by one of the athletes there.

To engage people, you need opportunities like this – to open people’s eyes to what really exists.

There might be something you never imagined trying. You might have a very big passion for it. Especially in parasport, there are a lot of people who arrive late to their sport.

Hynd believes many aspiring athletes find they take up sport too late in life

Hynd believes many aspiring athletes find they take up sport too late in life

It all comes down to opportunities and access to the business. We were working to improve this before the pandemic. Now, as restrictions open up and initiatives like this take place, it is important to maintain those opportunities. If they are there, I have no doubts that people will adopt them.

There are almost two sides to it – finding future Olympians and Paralympians, but the most important thing is just to get involved in sport, in a community, to have a purpose.

One thing that is very personal to me is making sure that everyone with a disability is active. And through the blockages, it became evident how important physical, but also mental, well-being is.

Sport really gives you that outlet to improve your mental health. You don’t need to aspire to be an Olympic or Paralympic athlete.

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