From Mo Farah and his Mobot to Jessica Ennis-Hill’s all-round brilliance in the heptathlon, supporters of Team GB have got a lot to cheer for at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
But for those of you who like the Olympics and post-16 education, the chance to see Adam Peaty (pictured), Jazz Carlin and Nicola Adams in action is going to be just as exciting as witnessing Sir Bradley Wiggins whizz around the velodrome. Why? Because they all attended an FE college.
According to the Association of Colleges, about 50 of Team GB’s 366 athletes have attended an FE college, with 22 alone having been to Loughborough College in Leicestershire.
Adam Peaty is perhaps the most high-profile former FE Olympian, after he won gold in the men's 100m breaststroke yesterday – the UK’s first in Rio. Peaty was educated at Derby College, where he studied sports science. Apparently when he was a boy he had a terrible fear of water. He’s certainly washed those fears away.
Former Gower College Swansea student Jazz Carlin is also sporting a brand new medal around her neck after winning silver in the 400m freestyle swimming event.
But swimming isn't the only sport where former further education students are in with a sniff of winning a medal. Dan Norton of Hartpury College and James Davies of Gower College Swansea will kick-off Team GB’s hopes in the men’s rugby sevens event today – while Will Fletcher (New College Durham) and Richard Chambers (Northern Regional College) will be hoping to row themselves to glory in the lightweight men’s double sculls.
And let’s not forget about FE’s golden boy, Valegro the horse, who won double gold in the dressage in the 2012 Olympics in London. Some would claim that a horse is unable to attend an FE college in the traditional sense – but because Valegro visits Hartpury College once a fortnight to use its water treadmill facilities, the sector is surely entitled to claim him as one of its own.
Here is a full list of FE Olympians compiled by the Association of Colleges.
Nicola Adams, women's flyweight – Hopwood Hall College
Joshua Buatsi (bronze), men's light-heavyweight – St Francis Xavier Sixth-Form College
Richard Hounslow, men’s C2 – Harrow College
Angela Hannah, K2 500m – Loughborough College
Rachel Cawthorn, women’s K1 500m and team K4 500m – Berkshire College of Agriculture
Steven Burke, Men's team pursuit – Nelson and Colne College
Ed Clancy, men’s omnium; men’s team pursuit – Kirklees College
Daniel Goodfellow (bronze medal), men’s synchronized 10m platform (with Tom Daley) – Loughborough College (Current)
Carl Hester, team dressage, individual dressage – Hartpury College (Equine Academy Coach)
Kat Driscoll, women's individual trampoline, Mid Kent College
Henry Weir – Loughborough College
Nicola White – Loughborough College
Will Fletcher, men’s lightweight double scull – New College Durham
Richard Chambers, men’s lightweight double scull – Northern Regional College
Peter Chambers, men’s lightweight four – Northern Regional College
Rugby: women’s rugby sevens – 4th
Megan Jones – Loughborough College (current)
Claire Allan – Loughborough College
Abbie Brown – Hartpury College
Natasha Hunt – Hartpury College
Heather Fisher – Warwickshire College and Bath College
Emily Scott – Seevic College
Danielle Waterman – Former head of AASE Academy at Hartpury College
Amy Wilson-Hardy – Worthing College
Rugby: men’s rugby sevens
Dan Norton – Hartpury College
James Davies – Gower College Swansea
Adam Peaty (gold), Men's 100m breast stroke – Derby College
Molly Renshaw, 100m and 200m breast stroke (23rd) – Loughborough College (current)
Jack Burnell, Men's 10K marathon swimming – Loughborough College
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, women's 200m individual medley – Loughborough College
Fran Halsall, women's 50m freestyle – Loughborough College
Lianna Swan (for Pakistan), Women's 50m freestyle – Loughborough College (current)
Katie Clark, women's duet – Loughborough College (current)
Track and field
Harry Aikines-Aryeety, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College
James Dasaolu, Men’s 100m, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College
Richard Kilty, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College
Ojie Edoburun, 4 x 100m relay – Loughborough College/Oaklands College
Martyn Rooney, 400m and 4 x 400m relay – Loughborough College
Matthew Hudson-Smith, 400m and 4 x 400m relay – Loughborough College
Sophie Hitchon, hammer – Loughborough College
Chris Baker, high jump – Loughborough College
Robbie Grabarz, high jump – Loughborough College
Chijindu Ujah, men’s 100m, 4 x 100m relay – Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College
Adam Gemili, men’s 200m – Barking and Dagenham College
Lynsey Sharp, Women’s 800m – Loughborough College
Daryll Neita, 100m, 4 x 100m relay – Oaklands College
Holly Bradshaw, Women’s pole vault – Runshaw College
Rebekah Tiler, women’s 69kg – Calderdale College
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