A PARALYMPIC champion swimmer who says his muscular dystrophy has never held him back hopes his story will inspire people to enter Oxford’s Town and Gown race.

Ollie Hynd, 20, was told he had the muscle disease when he was 13 years old – only a few years after his older brother Sam, 24, was given the same diagnosis.

The pair have since become successful competitive swimmers, and last year Ollie broke Sam’s world record for the 400-metre freestyle race, which he set at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.

Hynd is now an ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy UK which organises the Town and Gown fundraising race in Oxford.

He urged people to join this year’s run in May.

Ollie, from Mansfield, said: “I was a very active child and loved playing football, swimming and running around just like everyone else so when I was diagnosed I wasn’t going to let it hold me back from doing what I love.

“I’ve always had the mindset that if I want to achieve something, I will, regardless of what is standing in my way – as has my brother.”

Ollie has also previously won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth games and gold, silver and bronze at the 2012 Paralympics in London.

He was then awarded an MBE in 2013.

He added: “Even being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy was not enough to hold me back and stop me achieving my dream.”

Muscular dystrophy causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasingly severe disability.

And the swimmer’s condition is an unpredictable one, with symptoms including chronic fatigue, muscle weakness and loss of balance.

Ollie has been an ambassador for Town and Gown organisers, Muscular Dystrophy UK, since 2012.

He said: “Working with Muscular Dystrophy UK is fantastic and I hope that my involvement will help make people aware of all the different types of muscular dystrophy – because there are so many out there.”

It costs £23 to £25 for over-16s to enter the 10k run on Sunday, May 15. Places on the 3k run for nine to 15-year-olds are £12. Register at townandgown10k.com/OxMail