10:00AM, Friday 07 January 2022
We may be only a week into the new year, but it’s already shaping up to be a busy 2022 for Maidenhead’s double Olympic gold medallist Tom Dean, with the swimmer revealing his forthcoming competitions and commitments.
The 21-year-old celebrated the most memorable year of his life to date by receiving an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for his services to swimming, aided by his glorious golden summer at the Tokyo Olympics.
He was due to conclude 2021 by racing in the World Championships in Abu Dhabi but, unfortunately, was forced to pull out and fly home after being identified as a COVID close contact.
“My competition was cut very short due to a COVID infection within the team,” said Dean.
“I had to get out of the country fast so I was able to spend Christmas with my family. It was a bit of an abrupt end to the season, but I was just glad to make it home as not many people did.
“I’m already back in the pool. I had a session on Wednesday so I’m definitely back on the graft. It’s tough but it’s what we’ve got to do to be successful.
“My next major competition is the World Champs trials in April, followed by World Champs in May, and then the Commonwealth Games in late July which is in Birmingham. It’s a home game so it will be exciting. That’s how the year is currently shaping up so it’s going to be a busy one.”
Dean added: “On the back of a successful Olympics, I have found myself quite a lot busier than I used to be with activities outside of the pool. I’m taking on more things with the media, doing talks, and working with a few different people.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without my support from Speedo who are currently my main sponsor. They’ve been brilliant to me and I’m very fortunate to have had their support over the last few years and them continue to support me into the next Olympics.
“I think I’m going to put my studies on hold a little longer. I’ve figured out this is my prime time so I’m going to continue putting all of my effort into training.
“Who knows, I may pick up my engineering degree again a little further down the line.”
Maidenhead and Slough travellers have long been waiting for the arrival of Crossrail to whisk them quickly into central London.