Triple Paralympic Champion Ollie Hynd “Stepping Away” From The Pool For The Immediate Future

ollie-hynd-ipc-swimming-worlds-2015
Ollie Hynd: Photo Courtesy: Luc Percival

Three-time Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd will not compete in Tokyo in August as he steps away from the pool for the immediate future.

The Briton won the SM8 200IM titles at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and also claimed gold in the S8 400 free in Brazil.

His winning times of 2:20.01 in the 200IM and 4:21.89 over 400 free still stand as world records.

Hynd has also claimed four world titles and one Commonwealth gold since first topping the European podium in 2011 aged 16, the first of his five continental titles.

He was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours in 2013 for services to swimming.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Swimming Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd call on the British public to support their fellow para-athletes at National Paralympic Day, which takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Sunday 26 July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 19, 2015. As part of National Paralympic Day Ollie Hynd will compete in a international swimming event at the Aquatics Centre. Photo credit should read: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Photo Courtesy: Matt Alexander/PA

In a statement, the 26-year-old cited the impact of Covid as well as his reclassification which made the last few years “challenging” and ultimately contributed to his “really difficult decision”.

Hynd has the degenerative muscular condition neuromuscular myopathy and had been competing in the S8 class since his international debut in 2011.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) introduced new rules in 2018 which required all swimmers to go through another international classification.

Hynd was reclassified as an S9 meaning he was competing against less-impaired athletes and despite appealing, the decision was upheld and he considered retiring.

Although he continued, Hynd will now step away from the pool “for the moment” with the Paralympic Games running from 24 August-5 September although he has by no means ruled out a return.

He said:

“Unfortunately I have had to make a really difficult decision following on from a challenging few years, regarding my classification and of course the impact that Covid has had on us all, as elite athletes.

“For the moment, I will be stepping away from the programme and competitive swimming to focus on other initiatives and projects to ensure that my health & wellbeing are the main priority moving forward.

“I would wholeheartedly like to thank my sponsors, teammates, coaching team and more importantly supporters, who have been instrumental in every achievement I have made in and out of the pool.

“Although Tokyo 2021 isn’t in my short-term swimming plans, you never know what may be around the corner.

“Thank you again to all for being alongside me in what has been an awesome time!”

He added: “Also I would like to wish my teammates the best of luck this summer in Tokyo! I know you will all be prepared to deliver a great performance + I will be cheering you all on.”

Among those responding were British Para-Swimming Performance Director Chris Furber who said on social media:

A change is as good as a rest. Can’t say enough good things about @olliehyndgb . Amazing career (to date) and a pleasure to work with and support. Wishing you all the best Ollie in the future! #alwaysROAR “

British Swimming added:

 


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