Ollie Hynd broke through onto the world scene with his first major championship appearance at the 2011 British International Disability Swimming Champs, before impressing at the Europeans in Berlin. He made light work of qualifying for his first Paralympics at London 2012, going on to win a gold, silver and bronze medal. At the 2013 IPC World Champs in Montreal Ollie took home two golds and a bronze, setting a 200m IM European record and a British record in the 100m backstroke. This year saw him make his top British Champs performance winning gold in the SM8 200m Individual Medley.
Describe a typical day.
I train at the pool every day of the week, except Sundays so I guess a typical day for me would start at about 5.15am when my alarm goes off - glad to have my Lumie alarm as at least my wake up is not as brutal! I travel to the pool and I am in the water for 6am until 8am. Twice a week I then work with my strength and conditioning coach, Tim, for another hour, then it is straight home for vital recovery.... breakfast!
I am currently studying sport at A level so most days I have study at my local school during the day. Then it is back to the pool for my evening session with my coach Glenn, for two more hours. My recovery is then vital so it's home to rest and refuel with dinner.
When did you learn to swim?
I learnt to swim as a young child at my local swimming baths and did all of my ASA badges, getting my honours when I was 8 years old. I then joined a local swimming club - Sutton Swimming Club and achieved a place on the county squad, Nova Centurion, when I was 9 years old. This is the club where I still train now.
What is your best event?
200 IM, 400 free.
What is your favourite event?
I have three favourite events, 200 IM, 400 free and also 100 back.
What is your greatest swimming achievement so far?
Well I think this obviously has to be my gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but also my two golds I won in Canada this year at the World Championships.
Do you know how many titles or medals you have won?
Since my international swimming career started I have won 10 international medals - four at the European championships, gold, silver and two bronze - three at London 2012 gold, silver and bronze - three at the World Championships, two golds and a bronze. I am currently European, World and Paralympic Champion in the SM8 200 IM and hold the British and European Record.
What is your best moment in swimming?
My best moment has to be swimming at a home Paralympic Games in front of thousands of people and hearing the enormous roar of the crowd especially when I took gold - 'spine chilling' and something I will never forget!
And your worst swimming moment?
This has to be the second day of the trials for the Paralympic Games, at the London Aquatic pool, where I fell and fractured my wrist.
What was your first overseas or international event?
This was in Berlin, Germany at the IPC European Championships in 2011.
What are your sporting ambitions?
To keep having fun and loving my sport and therefore continue improving. My ultimate next main goal is Rio 2016 but next year I have a chance of competing in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games in the SM8 200 IM!
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yes I have one brother - Sam. (Pictured below with Ollie)
Is he involved in swimming?
Haha...yes my brother is also a Paralympic swimmer...who swims in the same classification as me, and does two of the same events as me, 200 IM and 400 Free. Sam was Paralympic champion in the 400 free in 2008 at Beijing and he is still the current World record holder in the 400 free...for now!
Does he have any annoying habits?
Not really - except he still holds that World record!
Do you have any hobbies apart from swimming?
I love music and listen to it a lot whilst I am chilling and I also like watching TV in my free time.
What music, singers or bands do you like?
I like Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Ben Howard, Passenger and Michael Buble. I would so love to meet some of these people.
What is your favourite TV programme?
This has to be Dexter, Luther and a bit of American Dad!
What was the last film you saw?
This was 'PS I Love You' - with my girlfriend.
What was the last book you read?
This is probably one of Michael Phelps' books - he is such an inspiration to me.
What are your favourite food and drink?
I love pizza and also spaghetti. Apple juice has to be one of my favourite drinks.
What is your favourite colour?
I have two really, purple and blue.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
As a swimmer holidays are bliss but I love Turkey and I went there this year following the World Championships and had an awesome time.
Do you come from a sporting family?
No I don't but I guess to have two Paralympic champions in one family is really unusual and I have to say rather special. Sam and I made history in London last year to be the first Paralympic siblings to make the podium at a Paralympic Games in the same event!
What makes you so good at your sport?
Technique I think is the key to being good at your sport as well as hard work and determination. Never give up!
Do you have any superstitions?
No I don't think I do actually but I do like to listen to music before a race.
What is your star sign?
My birthday is the 27th October so my star sign is Scorpio.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I enjoyed science and geography at school.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which three things would you most want (apart from a phone)?
I would need my iPod for sure as I couldn't live without my music, my bed as I love sleeping (swimmers problem!) and my dog (pictured below) to keep me company.
What would be your ideal job or career apart from swimming?
This I am not really sure about at the moment as I just love swimming but at some stage I would like to give back something to my sport and also I am really keen to help disabled children to become active. I would like to do some work in media too.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you spent money on?
I would love a big house and of course a Ferrari! Would love to be able to treat my family and friends and give some money to my charities that I am ambassador for.
If you came back as an animal in a future life, what would you like to be?
Maybe an eagle, and I could fly around with power, speed and style.
Any advice to young up-and-coming athletes?
There is so much advice I could give - but to always give your best 100%. Listen to your coach and always work on your technique - the little changes bring big results. Try and be consistently good and look for improvements, and enjoy racing. Try not to stress too much, just enjoy what you do and this is how you will get the best results!