Here at Loughborough University we’re extremely proud of our Olympic history, which is just one of the reasons why in our eyes, we’re the best sports university in the world.
With alumni ranks that boast hundreds of Olympians, we’re always delighted to see our students and alumni achieving at such a high level.
Our notable alumni go all the way back to the 1948 London Olympics, whilst John Cooper won Olympic silver over 440 yards hurdles in Tokyo 1964, before later dying in the Paris air disaster of 1974.
David Moorcroft remains the last non-African athlete to hold the 5,000m world record, whilst Paula Radcliffe is another Loughborough alumnus and Olympian to have broken the world record. Despite never winning an Olympic medal (her best performance was fourth over 10,000m in 2000) she is perhaps the most famous female distance runner of all time and has held the marathon world record for over 12 years.
Tanni Grey-Thompson is without a doubt Loughborough’s most decorated Paralympian, having won 16 medals, 11 of which are gold! At both Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000, Dame Tanni won gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.
‘Discus Dan’ Greaves is another of Loughborough’s athletics success stories having won a medal at every Paralympics since 2004. He will look to end his Paralympic career on a high in Rio with a fifth straight medal – could it be gold?
However Loughborough’s most famous alumnus in any discipline is probably Lord Sebastian Coe. Olympic athlete, politician and later Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Coe is now the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
During his career Coe twice bounced back from silver in his favoured event, the 800m, to take 1500m gold. His rivalry with Steve Ovett made the duo household names during the golden era for British Athletics.
In April 2010, Loughborough was chosen by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as the training base and official Preparation Camp for Team GB in the run-up to the London 2012 Games. Students and graduates of Loughborough won four bronze medals and six Paralympic medals at London 2012.
At the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014, over 120 athletes from Loughborough represented 8 teams, across 10 sports. In total, 35 medals were won by athletes with Loughborough connections; 13 bronze, 13 silver and nine gold medals. If Loughborough was a country, the university would have finished 11th on the medal table at the 2014 Games.