University hosts Olympic Flame

An event that welcomed the Olympic torch to Edinburgh highlighted the key role that sport plays at the University.

The event was part of a tour to raise awareness of the Olympic Torch Relay that will precede the London games next year.

The torch was presented to selected sports figures and senior officials from the University at a reception in the Student Union.

Students then had an opportunity to be photographed holding the torch beside a London bus which was parked in Bristo Square.

Future stars

It is hoped that the torch coming to Edinburgh will help inspire the University’s sporting stars to win medals in the future.

The University caters for 24 of the 26 Olympic sporting disciplines and has a long history of its athletes going on to conquer the sporting world.

Olympic hopes

There are a number of Edinburgh students in contention for a place in the 2012 Great Britain team.

These include rower Polly Swan, dinghy sailor Charlotte Dobson, swimmer Richard Shafers and fencer Lisa McKenzie.

Edinburgh alumni Sir Chris Hoy and Katharine Grainger are also in the running for the London games.

Many more Edinburgh students have their sights set on the 2012 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Sport is extremely important to us as a University, and our involvement in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games is a key part of our identity.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaPrincipal, University of Edinburgh

The University has a long history of achieving success at the Olympic Games. Athletes who have won medals at the games include:

  • Eric Liddell, who famously won Olympic gold in the men’s 400 metres at the Paris Olympics in 1924, the same year as he graduated. His story was documented in the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire.
  • Alison Ramsay, a bronze Olympic medallist at Barcelona in 1992, started playing hockey while studying at Edinburgh.
  • Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most successful Olympic female rower, took up the sport at university in 1993 and has won 2 silver Olympic medals.
  • Cyclist Chris Hoy is Scotland's most successful Olympian, winning 3 gold medals at the Beijing games, a gold in Athens and a silver medal in Sydney.

A sporting university

The University’s sports facilities and programmes are among the finest in the UK, with Edinburgh ranked fourth out of 140 institutions in the Independent’s Complete University Guide 2008-09.

Edinburgh provides bursaries, training programmes and a range of support services to help gifted students realise their sporting potential.

The University’s sports centre has recently undergone a £4.8 million extension, improving Edinburgh’s state-of-the-art sports conditioning and physical activity resources.

The extension at the Pleasance gym includes a variety of weight training and body conditioning facilities, topped with a studio space for dance and exercise classes.

Home page photo by Jon Candy under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence.

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