Sascha Kindred in high spirits for pursuit of swimming glory at his sixth Paralympics

 

As a five-time Paralympian, Sascha Kindred has witnessed first hand how the event's profile has soared over recent editions, but for the 34-year-old the rewards are still solely to be found in the pool.

Kindred, who broke the world 200m butterfly record last year, competed at his first Paralympics in Atlanta in 1996 and has been present at each subsequent Games, claiming six gold medals and 11 overall.

In that time he has seen media attention grow from a half-hour TV highlights package to the sort of spotlight the athletes are now enjoying in the countdown to London 2012, a Games in which he will compete on front of a sell-out crowd in the Aquatics Centre.

"I just love my sport and it's a bonus getting that attention and it helps to build our profile," said Kindred, who is joined in the 44-strong British swimming team by his wife, Nyree. "But if I didn't have it, I would still love my sport and I'd still love what I do. It helps my disability and keeps me fit. I'd still do swimming if it wasn't there."

Kindred, who has cerebral palsy, claimed a silver medal on his first Paralympic outing in Atlanta as an 18-year-old, a competition that is still clear in his mind's eye. "The opening ceremony was my first one and you walked out in front of 80,000 people," he said. "Because that was my first Games that is the biggest memory I've got. It was such a buzz.

"The crowds at the pool were great. As soon as you went out the crowd lifted you because they were there to watch and support you.

"Knowing it is going to be home support in London is going to make it even more special."

Nyree, who also has cerebral palsy, is a nine-time Paralympic medallist, while the next generation will be represented in one-year-old daughter Ella up in the stands.

"She has got a bit of chlorine in her genes somewhere," said Kindred. "She'll be in the crowd supporting us, wearing her Team Kindred T-shirt - it will be nice to look up and see her. She's a bit young to remember it but in future she can say mum and dad swam in London and I was there."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions