With just over a month to go until the kickoff of Glasgow 2014, our athlete ambassadors have been keeping themselves busy with a full schedule of training and heats, and helping our teams and wider community get into the spirit of the Games.
Hear what Ollie Hynd had to say about his recent triumphs:
The past few months have been an incredible part of my journey to Glasgow 2014. April was a nerve-racking but exciting month that began when I headed to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games trials.
I knew I had done the hard work in the pool ahead of the trials but I also knew I had to achieve the qualification time in order to be considered for a place on the Team England squad…and this was my only chance! The pressure was on as I am currently European, World and Paralympic Champion in the SM8 200 Medley, and this would give me the chance to race for the Commonwealth title as well.
All the hard work and preparation paid off as I achieved the qualification time in both my heat swim and the final. I posted a result of seven seconds inside the required time – the fastest in the world this year! I then had a nervous two week wait for the Team England swimming squad to be announced, but when I saw my name in the list it was worth it!
Following the Commonwealth trials, my hard work did not stop. I went straight into the Para Swimming trials for the IPC European Championships, which also take place this summer in the Netherlands. Again, I was vying to secure a place on the GB Team. I swam all three of my events – 200m Medley, 400m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke -and posted some very pleasing times. To my relief, my name was confirmed for the GB Team later that week!
At this stage I was obviously very pleased, and also exhausted, but my next challenge was right around the corner. I was lucky enough to travel to Berlin next with a group of GB swimmers to race at the German Open Championships. I knew this was going to be tough as by this time I had been racing for almost two weeks straight. But I was keen to push myself and see what I could do!
I swam in eight individual races and made it through to the finals in seven of them. My highlight was breaking the S8 200m Freestyle World Record in both the heat and final. I also took the British Record in the 50m Backstroke, as well as posting some personal best times. My suitcase was certainly a little heavier coming home with some extra medals in there!
Overall my training is going really well and I am working closely with my coach so that I am prepared for what is going to be a very busy, but exciting, summer. The support that I get from Dell is paramount for my preparation, as technology plays a massive part in planning and evaluating my training.
For more information, visit http://www.dell.co.uk/glasgow2014