August 15, 2012, by Fraser

Want an Olympic medal? Better head to Nottingham

It’s official: The University of Nottingham was the country’s second most successful university at London 2012.

And, in terms of English universities, Nottingham was number one – with Edinburgh the only British uni to do better. And with cyclist Chris Hoy and rower Catherine Grainger in its arsenal, it was hardly fair.

Nottingham graduates combined to win five medals at this summer’s Olympics – two gold, two silver and a bronze. Not bad, eh? And, when it comes to the Olympics, surely medals are the best measuring stick.

Water water everywhere

With the National Water Sports Centre just a stone’s throw away from campus, it’s no great surprise that the majority of our alumni success came on the water.

Biology graduate Chris Bartley kicked off the University’s bumper medal-winning day with a silver in the Men’s Lightweight Four Rowing at Eton Dorney. And later that day, more of our alumni followed in Chris’ winning footsteps.

The most exciting event from the University’s perspective was the Men’s C2 Canoe Slalom where our graduates picked up gold and silver in the doubles event. Mechanical Engineering graduates Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie combined for gold while alumnus David Florence paired with NTU’s Richard Hounslow for the silver.

A second silver for Florence

A Mathematical Physics graduate, David also won silver at Beijing 2008 in the Men’s C1 Canoe Slalom. And after a disappointing showing in the final of this event at London, he dusted himself off in time to snag a medal in the doubles event at his home games.

David said: “It’s been amazing to have been a part of London 2012 and to have won a second Olympic medal is incredible. To have come so close to the gold is frustrating, but I’m still very proud of my achievement.

“Rio is a definite possibility. It’s very early days to make any big decisions for the next four years, but my canoeing is going well and I’m still striving for improvements. I’m not in a hurry to retire from the sport I love.”

Finishing with a flourish

With just two days of the Games remaining, Anne Panter put a series of injuries behind her to win bronze with the GB Women’s Hockey Team. This was the first Olympic hockey medal for team GB in 20 years and came courtesy of a hard fought 3-1 win over New Zealand.

The team recovered quickly from their semi-final defeat to Argentina just days before and Anne and co bagged the bronze with Kate Middleton, Catherine Grainger and Dame Kelly Holmes cheering them on.

And, in terms of future medals, there’s Nottingham student and aspiring javelin-thrower Kike Oniwinde with her sights set on Rio. While hockey player Harry Martin, who’s coming to study Economics at Nottingham next month, made it through to the men’s hockey semis this year but just missed out on a medal — maybe next time.

So if you’re an aspiring Olympian and you’ve got your sights set on Nottingham – you’ll be in some very good, medal-winning company.

Photo credit for Anne Panter shot: GB Hockey/Ady Kerry

Posted in Alumni