||24 Nov 1992
in Harrogate, ENG|
Further Personal Information
||Film Studies, Media Production - Technological University Dublin: Ireland
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He first tried the sport at age seven when he took part in a 'Learn to Dive' scheme organised by Harrogate Borough Council in England.
|Why this sport?
||He liked the challenge of starting something new.
|Club / Team
||National Aquatic Centre [NAC]: Dublin, IRL
|Name of coach
||Damian Ball [national]
||Ollie (swimming.org, 08 Jun 2014)
||Podcasts. (Life In A Bubble podcast, 14 Sep 2020)
|Hero / Idol
||US boxer Muhammad Ali. (YouTube, 17 Jun 2015)
||He had problems with his Achilles and his ankle after falling down a set of stairs in 2015. (irishexaminer.com, 16 Nov 2015; irishexaminer.com, 15 Nov 2015)
He was forced to alter his dive programme due to a back injury at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He went on to win a bronze medal at the event. (telegraph.co.uk, 31 Jul 2014)
He had an abdominal injury in 2012. (ripongazette.com, 11 Feb 2013)
|Awards and honours
||He was named Performance Athlete of the Year at the 2018 Swim Ireland Annual Awards. (swimswam.com, 26 Nov 2018)
He was named the 2013 Sports Personality of the Year in Rochford, England. (rochford.gov.uk, 01 Dec 2013)
He won the Young Achievement Award at the 2013 Heart Essex Awards in England. (heart.co.uk, 12 Jul 2013)
||He became the first Irish diver for 68 years to compete at the Olympic Games when he competed at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 May 2021; bbc.co.uk, 04 May 2021)
||MENTAL HEALTH AMBASSADOR
He is an ambassador for Pieta House in Ireland, an organisation which helps people with mental health issues. In 2021 he became involved in their annual Darkness into Light event, which is walking fundraiser held primarily across the island of Ireland. "For many years, I was stranded with this inability to change my own situation. From my own experience many people assume that depression is just 'being sad' or 'fed up' and you should just 'man up' - I was even told to do just that. Depression is an illness that can take over your life, some days it feels impossible, the simplest of tasks can feel arduous. But every now and again, I found a chink of light through the dark clouds that had ascended over me. Those were the moments that felt precious and, in turn, they became the moments I lived for. My saving grace over the last few years has been communication. Something I initially could not bring myself to do. For a long time, I could barely bring myself to have a shower and eat, let alone have a conversation about my thoughts and feelings." (dublingazette.com, 07 Apr 2021)
In 2015 he began representing Ireland in international competitions. He was eligible to compete for Ireland through his grandmother. He had previously competed for Great Britain, and won a bronze medal while representing England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. His motivation to make the switch came after he missed out on selection for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and was then unable to compete in his favourite event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. "Once I had finished [in Glasgow], it really got me thinking. I contacted Ireland and they were all for it. From a personal point of view, I felt like I could achieve more." (Facebook page, 31 Jan 2016; YouTube, 17 Jun 2015; echo-news.co.uk, 08 Oct 2014)
In March 2020 he created a podcast called 'Life in a Bubble'. The aim of series is to speak to Irish people who have achieved great successes in their fields. (Life In A Bubble podcast, 14 Sep 2020)