Rio gold medallist Scott Reardon has set his sights on a successful defence of his Paralympic title, committing to a tilt at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
The Temora sprinter had thought his victory in the T42 100m final at the Olympic Stadium in Rio, four years after finishing second in London, would bring the curtain down on his Games career.
But in the lead-up to Christmas, Reardon recognised the fire still burning in a competitive belly and had a change of heart.
“I've committed to going to Tokyo,” Reardon told The Daily Advertiser.
“The Paralympic Games is the pinnacle in our sport and I’ll be doing everything I can do to defend my title.”
Reardon said it’s about absolute commitment.
“Within two weeks of the (Rio) Games, I was done, I had no desire to do it again,” he said. “It’s the mental side of the sport that has a big impact – the preparation to do that for eight years to become a Paralympic champion was intense.”
The intensity begins now, with Reardon preparing for the World Championships in London in July.
“I’ve got some unfinished business there so I want to go out and hopefully, if things go according to plan, go faster than I ever have and win another world championship,” he said.
The Canberra-based athlete was back in Temora at Christmas and reflected on the success of 2016.
He remains grateful that three mates from home, Clark Allen, Alex Brabin and Gavin Kite, travelled to Brazil. But the moment itself remains slightly surreal to him.
“It’s always interesting when you win or do something you’ve never done – at the time it doesn’t feel real and even still now it doesn’t really,” he said.
More than the personal success, Reardon believes the Rio Games, with their coverage on commercial television, cemented the Paralympics in the public consciousness.
He’s also spending time sharing his story.
“I’ve go to a point in my life and career where I want to help other people and I think I’ve been put in a pretty unique position to share what I’ve been through.”