A Bournemouth University student has qualified for the 2024 Paralympic games being held in Paris.
Leo McCrea, who is a Paralympic swimmer, secured his place at the games after coming second at the World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira.
The silver medal ensured that Leo will be competing in his second Paralympic games, after participating in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics as the age of just 17.
Leo said: “The feeling of qualifying was unbelievable, almost a sense of relief that all my hard work paid off.”
After missing out on medals in Tokyo, Leo is aiming higher this time around.
“My aspirations are to try and get myself a gold medal. I have under a year to try and become the best version of myself.”
The Paralympian, formerly of the GB academy, made the switch to the Swiss national team before the Tokyo Paralympics, who he will be representing again at the upcoming games.
Leo’s schedule consists of eight swimming sessions a week alongside three gym sessions.
With the training being so time-consuming, Leo credited BU, stating that they have “helped me a lot in supporting me and letting me leave in January to focus on training for Paris”.
BU’s high performance sport manager Martin Wells works closely with Leo, providing support and a good structure that helps manage a heavy workload.
Speaking to Martin, he described how “delighted, excited and totally enthused” he was regarding Leo’s recent success.
“Leo is a top scholar who goes above and beyond what he needs to do and I hope the success will make him a mini celebrity at the university”.
Fellow BU swimmer Tom Betts said: “Seeing someone who trains at the same facility as you and has same support staff is really inspiring and pushes me to work harder.”
Bournemouth University will be looking to send some former and current students to Paris in order to support Leo, as well as provide them with an amazing experience.