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We’ve been glued to our TV screens for the past few weeks as Tokyo 2020 has captured the heart of the nation.

We watched our eight past and present students with admiration and congratulate them all for their performances in what was, a Games like no other. 

Podium finishes

Current Sport and Exercise Science student, Fiona Crackles, was part of Team GB’s women’s hockey squad who clinched the Olympic bronze medal following their victory over India.

Fiona, who only joined the Team GB squad in January, has worked tirelessly to juggle her academic and sporting commitments, and is our first ever current student to win an Olympic medal while still undertaking her degree.

Joining Fiona on the Olympic podium was alumnus Angus Groom. Angus was part of Team GB’s men’s quadruple scull silver medal winning crew – GB’s first ever medal in this particular boating class. 

Round-up of events

Fiona was joined in the Team GB hockey squads by Jack Waller and Ollie Payne who represented the men. The team surpassed the group stages but were defeated by a tough Indian team in the quarter-finals.

In the rowing, Matt Rossiter narrowly missed out on a medal position in the men’s coxless four final. Matt and Angus were joined by Durham graduates James Harris and Dan Moore, both of whom formed part of the Team GB rowing coaching team.

Finally, former MSc Management student Eli Schenkel made his Olympic debut and represented Team Canada in the individual and team foil fencing event. 

Looking ahead to the Paralympics

Our support for Olympic athletes with a link to Durham is far from over as we now look ahead to the Paralympic Games which begin on 24 August.

Alumna Gemma Collis McCann will be joining the Team GB Fencing team, her third Paralympic Games after being involved in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

Gemma started her fencing journey while studying here and will be taking part in both the épée and sabre events. 

Find out more

  • Take a look at the facilities at Maiden Castle
  • Interested in studying Sport and Exercise Sciences?