|Venue: Belgrade, Serbia Dates: 3-10 September|
|Protection: Watch stay finals on Saturday (12:00-14:45 BST) and Sunday (12:00-14:30 BST) on BBC iPlayer, Crimson Button, BBC Sport web site & app, with highlights on Sunday on BBC Two (16:00-17:00 BST)|
It has lengthy been mentioned that sport is a good leveller – an escape from actuality, the sector during which variations are put apart in pursuit of 1 widespread objective.
It’s actually the case for Callum Dixon. In sport, he says, “no one’s going to ask me to do one thing that I feel I am unable to do”.
In so-called “actual life”, his extreme dyslexia means he can solely examine 25 phrases. He can’t learn a ebook, or a menu in a restaurant, or differentiate between bathroom doorways that say ‘males’ or ‘ladies’.
However what he can do is row – and the Olympics are in his sights.
Dixon, now 23, was round eight years previous when he observed he couldn’t do the issues his friends may with obvious ease.
The alphabet by no means caught. “I bear in mind by no means fairly understanding what even it was, struggling to say the names of the letters. It was such a hurdle,” he tells BBC Sport.
“I could not perceive why I could not get it at any stage. At possibly age 12, 14, you surprise if it will occur at any time? Why hasn’t this occurred?”
Rising up within the Mile Finish space of east London, Dixon and his three siblings had been dwelling educated. Within the afternoons and evenings, he took half in each ‘after college’ membership, sports activities workforce or Scouts group he may squeeze in.
He did attend college for a really brief time period, and recollects struggling to learn his academics’ questions written on the board.
“I perceive that simply understanding what the query is should not be the tough half,” he says. “The tough half must be answering the query.
“I bear in mind beginning to journey by myself, utilizing the Tube. The tough half in all probability should not be studying the station it is advisable get off at, making an attempt to memorise each cease on a sure line so that you knew what was coming and the place you had been.”
In the present day, Dixon nonetheless depends closely on the assist of others, specifically his mother and father. They assist him pay his payments, and fill out varieties, and his mum performed an enormous half in him being awarded a level in psychology by the Open College.
“She learn all the pieces, and wrote all my solutions,” he says. “She learn each single phrase of my diploma with me.”
He fears what the longer term will maintain, what he’ll do when he has to “self-sustain” and has to get a “actual” job after his athletic profession. “It nonetheless feels so unattainable, that’s going to be such a giant hurdle,” he says.
However for now, he has sport – and “the very best job on the earth”.
Dixon began out as a sailor, becoming a member of his native membership as a baby earlier than progressing up the ranks and becoming a member of the British workforce in 2016.
A member of the under-23 squad, he was set for a profitable future within the Finn class, one which possible would have included changing into an Olympian – a dream he had held since being captivated by London 2012.
However when in 2018 World Crusing introduced it was dropping the Finn – a category dominated by Britain’s Sir Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott at latest Video games – from the Olympic programme from Paris 2024 onwards, Dixon needed to change sports activities if he was to make his dream a actuality.
Enter rowing, instructed to him by Scott as his brother, Nick, was head of efficiency at British Rowing on the time. Quick ahead to 2022 and Dixon was making his World Cup debut as a rower.
Dixon’s top means he fits rowing, however it’s a sport that additionally fits him as a result of “it’s all numbers”, not phrases.
“We do like doing the identical issues every single day. We get our programme and I simply must understand how far I am going in the present day,” he says.
Earlier this 12 months, he was chosen within the males’s quadruple sculls for the European Championships, ending fourth, and it’s within the quad that he’ll once more line up on the World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, this week.
It’s a competitors that brings added incentive. Dixon and his crewmates George Bourne, Matt Haywood and Tom Barras have the possibility to qualify the British boat for subsequent 12 months’s Olympics, with seven quota locations up for grabs.
“I am very excited. I feel this one is a little more particular as a result of it is qualification as effectively, so it is received an added layer of pleasure and nerves,” says Dixon.
“I undoubtedly really feel the additional stress. You construct all through an Olympiad, this is not the top objective for certain, the top objective is Paris however it’s a giant stepping stone in making Paris a actuality.
“Going to the Olympics can be fairly particular. That is one thing that has been a dream for nearly so long as I can bear in mind.
“For it to truly occur, I do not fairly understand how I might really feel however I’m excited.”