Daydream over for Hall-Butcher as he gears up for London 2012
TOM Hall-Butcher admits he has been in a state of confusion since officially being selected for the London 2012 Paralympics but insists he'll know exactly where he is when the Games begin.
SETTLING IN: Tom Hall-Butcher insists he will be ready and raring to go when the London 2012 Paralympics begin
The 22-year-old was announced as part of a seven-strong British wheelchair fencing team for London 2012 back in May - a vast improvement on Beijing 2008 where just Lee Fawcett competed.
Exams effectively ended Hall-Butcher's chances of competing in the Far East and, despite undertaking a degree in ancient history and archaeology at the University of Birmingham since, that hasn't been the case this time.
Hall-Butcher has a finish of 14th in the individual sabre class A, his event for the Games, from the last World Championships and is slowly coming to terms with the fact he'll be competing in London.
"Getting the kit was definitely an awakening kind of moment - I suddenly realised that it was real. Up until then I was in a daydream from the moment I was told I was on the team," said Hall-Butcher.
"It was all a bit confusing for me because when I got the call I was really relaxed about it but the more time I have had to dwell on it the more I have thought ‘oh my God London'.
"It is odd how that happened. London 2012 has been the biggest goal of mine for the last four years. I would have liked to have competed at Beijing 2008 but I had exams during the qualification process.
"I was told to concentrate on the next Games so I did but I'll be going into my third year at university right after the Games and it has been difficult juggling studying with competing.
"But they have been good at helping me out and the support we will get in London will be phenomenal but I have no point of reference to compare a home Games to an away Games to be honest."
Hall-Butcher will be making his Paralympic debut along with five others on the British team - David Heaton the only member to have Games experience with London 2012 set to be his fifth.
Britain haven't won a Paralympic wheelchair fencing medal since Heaton took bronze in the team sabre at Barcelona 1992.
But Hall-Butcher believes there will be a fair few in the crowd who will have something to say about that.
"These Games being in London makes it a lot easier for us. We are a bit of a hidden sport sometimes so it will be nice to get the sport recognised and have people from across the world watching," he added.
"The exposure we will get will be hugely important, there will be people watching who would never have known about wheelchair fencing before and they can get involved in the sport that way.
"No-one on the team is used to having a lot of people cheering for them but that will be a great experience and one that we need to use to our advantage."
© Sportsbeat 2012