THREE of Team GB’s Olympic heroes were celebrated at a special event at the Open University today.
Bronze medal winning hockey stars Alex Danson and Helen Richardson were joined by gold medal winning canoe slalom athlete Etienne Stott at an event designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those athletes currently studying at the OU.
Dozens of current students took part in a question and answer session where they also got the chance to quiz former Olympic gold winning Pentathlete Dame Mary Peters – who has an honorary degree from the Open University in Belfast.
All three of the Olympians are currently studying for degrees with the OU.
Helen, who is currently studying psychology with the OU, said: “Juggling training with study is very interesting – it is nice to get my mind onto something else and is a release from my day-to-day training. Also studying and elite sport training are comparable. I am used to setting targets and so this helps with working towards passing a module.”
Etienne, who is also studying the same subject, added: “When you are studying and doing sport at high level it all comes down to organisation – you have to anticipate the choke points and be ready to deal with them, just like other circumstances in life, so that they don’t cause problems.
“To me though, it really is intrinsically important to learn and it’s something I really believe in.”