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10 November 2008 - PR 08/158

Local people share their views and memories of Olympic and Paralympic Games

American athlete Michael Johnson’s victories in Atlanta; Britain’s Kelly Holmes winning double gold in Athens; and the murder of nine Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972. These are just a few of the memories, both good and bad, shared by people in Loughborough for a project undertaken by Loughborough University Library as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

The opinions of almost 1,300 people were collected as part of The People’s Record – a UK-wide project that will capture, for the first time in Olympic history, people’s experiences of living in an Olympic host nation.

A team of the University’s students spent a week asking people to answer three questions in a bid to capture the Olympic mood on campus and around the town. Pupils from two of the county’s schools – Mountfields Lodge Primary School in Loughborough and Harry Carlton School in East Leake – took part as well, with opinion cards also made available in the town’s Public Library.

Contributors were asked for their recollections of past Olympic and Paralympic Games; how they felt about the celebrations marking the handover from Beijing to London; and what impact they believe the London Games will have on their life.

Many of the school pupils who took part in the project believe the London Games will have a positive effect on the UK, encouraging more people to get involved in sport and creating more jobs.

“The project has revealed some very interesting memories and views, which will be shared through the BBC Memoryshare web site and archived for future generations,” says Graham Walton from the University’s Library.

“We were really pleased to have been chosen to take part in this project, particularly as we were one of only two libraries selected. It is particularly relevant in view of the University’s internationally recognised sporting profile and tradition.”

The People’s Record project is part of the Setting the Pace programme – a national initiative being coordinated by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

The Cultural Olympiad, which was launched in September 2008, is a four-year, UK-wide cultural programme that aims to welcome the world to the UK, inspire and involve young people, and leave a lasting and positive legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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