Kirkby’s Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd insists he has the perfect motivation for Rio 2016 after returning to the site of his finest hour at this year’s National Paralympic Day.
The 20-year-old had a stellar Paralympics in 2012 that saw him claim SM8 200m individual medley gold as well as silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 100m backstroke.
For the first time in three years Hynd, the new 400m freestyle world record holder, returned to compete at the London Aquatics Centre on Sunday and this time finished second in the 100m backstroke in front of a packed house.
And he says the chance to relieve the electric atmosphere will be the perfect spark as he builds up to next summer’s Games.
“It’s about the legacy of London 2012 and just keeping that going and you look at the crowd and see what it’s all about,” he said. “We are trying to inspire the next generation and it means a lot to be a part of that.
“Being back in London is always special and I have great memories of 2012 and it’s great to be competing in front of a home crowd.
“It’s the first time I have competed in London since 2012 and I have really enjoyed myself because you get all the flashbacks from the Games that you might have forgotten.
“Next year is the big one with Rio coming up so I have to keep training hard and get my name on the team sheet and something like this makes you determined not to miss it.
“Days like this are vital to keep the legacy from London going and all the supporters around the park are great.
“Going into next year we are trying to build on it and the public really got behind London so hopefully they will get behind us again next year.”
National Paralympic Day is an annual event designed to help continue the legacy of the 2012 Games with elite athletes also on show at the Olympic Stadium.
And also in action on the day was Mansfield’s Paralympic silver medallist Charlotte Henshaw, who took victory in her SB6 100m breaststroke race.
“In pools like this where we have so many amazing memories you don’t need to build it up because it’s such an amazing place,” said Henshaw.
“To have so many people here supporting just gives you that added boost and I heard the roar in the pool and it’s just like it was in the games.
“It’s hard not to be inspired by that and it’s really incredible to be back, being here always gives me goosebumps.”
National Paralympic Day is generously supported by Spirit of 2012. Find out more at www.paralympics.org.uk/npd2015.