As the city in which he completed the ‘Grand Slam’ of major international titles, Glasgow will always hold a special place in the heart of swimmer Ollie Hynd.
And the 20-year-old is determined his return north of the border later this summer will be just as rewarding, with the defence of two world titles firmly on the agenda.
Last year Hynd added to his impressive medal collection when he swam to victory in the 200m individual medley SM8 final, securing one of ten swimming golds won by Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
That result completed the full set of golds for Hynd, who won his first major title at the 2011 IPC Swimming European Championships in Berlin, before following that up with Paralympic gold at London 2012 and double world gold the following year.
This July sees Hynd attempt to defend those two world titles in the 200m medley and 400m freestyle – back at Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre no less.
And Hynd insists a return to the medal rostrum is his main aim.
“Last year was a great year for me. I think probably the main highlight would be the Commonwealth Games, being able to compete again in front of a home crowd, it was very reminiscent of how it was in London,” he said.
“I was able to complete the Grand Slam of titles so to speak, European, World, Paralympic and Commonwealth gold. It was really special. Not many people can say they have achieved that.
“I’m really proud to have done that and grateful for the opportunities I have been given as well.
“Obviously the next Commonwealth Games is a big pull for me. I would love to be out in the Gold Coast competing again, trying to add another gold.
“We’ll see what happens, I’ll just take it a year at a time, with this year’s Worlds in Glasgow is the main aim.
“Tollcross is a great venue, so I’ve got great memories of there. I’m looking forward to going back there.
“Going into the Worlds, I am holding the two titles in the 400 and the 200 medley and obviously I really want to defend those titles.
“But I’m just focusing on each day at a time, each training session, just doing the best that I can so then hopefully come Worlds I’ll be in the best shape.”
Hynd recently took time out of training to help launch the 2015 National Paralympic Day, a day of sporting competition which will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday July 26.
Building upon the legacy of London 2012, the day will feature international para-swimming at the London Aquatics Centre as well as the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final as part of the last day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the former Olympic stadium.
“I’m really looking forward to National Paralympic Day this year, it’s a great event and a good chance for us athletes in the pool and on the track to showcase what we’re about and carry on that legacy that was built from London 2012,” he added.
“I’d encourage everyone to get their tickets, they’re available now, and come along and support us and see some great action.
“Last year I was unfortunately not able to swim but I came along to support the team and it was just a great atmosphere. It’s great fun.”
Tickets for National Paralympic Day are available at Ticketmaster http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/npd2015/
© Sportsbeat 2015