Olympic torch comes to Oxford
Olympic torch comes to Oxford
Credit: OU. Roger Bannister holding the 2012 Olympic Torch on the Iffley Road running track where he ran the first four-minute mile in 1954

London 2012

Oxford medal-winners in 2012

CharlesColeRowing (Coxless four)BronzeUSAKellogg
ConstantineLouloudisRowing (Eight)BronzeGBTrinity
PeteReedRowing (Coxless four)GoldGBOriel
DavisTarwaterSwimming (4x200m relay)GoldUSASt Antony's
AndyTriggs HodgeRowing (Coxless four)GoldGBSt Catherine's

Constantine Louloudis took a year out from studying Classics at Trinity College to be part of Great Britain's bronze medal-winning Rowing Eights team.

Pete Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge are Oxford graduates and part of Great Britain's gold medal-winning Coxless four.

An interview with Pete Reed

How does it feel to hold a gold medal in your hand?!

I can't describe how it feels to actually have the gold medal in my hands. It’s what I've wanted above all else for so long. The race was as pressurised and exhausting as I imagine anything will be in my life, and even that was a small fraction of what we went through as a crew to get that piece of metal. The object itself is wonderful, but it means more to friends, family and the public than it does to me. What I will always cherish is the achievement, the memories and the camaraderie.

How did you celebrate?

We had day after day of commitments after the race, with media and public appearances during the day and a lot of corporate hospitality at night. It was all fun but two weeks of that is hard work. It wasn't until I got home with my fiancée, family and dog that I could really take in the reality of the achievement. People ask me a lot about 'when it sinks in'. It sinks in when you get back to normal life and you realise that you actually did it.

A number of Oxford alumni won medals. How do you think your time here contributed to your sporting success? And what would you say to encourage current students to follow in your footsteps?

However good you are at your sport, you must always know that there is room for improvement. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and you have to work on both. It is a good idea to see what other people do well and learn how they do it. At Oxford I was surrounded by incredible athletes and I was able to learn from them and learn quickly.

What will you do next? Will you be aiming for Rio?

I will make sure I enjoy our success from the London Olympics first. I have a great chance to celebrate and give back to the rowing world and public. That is so important now as rowing is in the spotlight for a very short window. When things calm down, I'll look at my options but I would hate to retire from rowing before I have reached my peak.

An interview with Andy Triggs Hodge


How does it feel to hold a gold medal in your hand?!

The gold medal doesn't really feel like it's mine. I look back on both of my medals as something that happened to someone else. Every now and again I get a kick and I realise that it was me doing the rowing but, even then, I owe so much to those around me for making my journey possible. From my wife, family and friends, the coaches and support staff within rowing, to the organisers and volunteers who made the games possible, and finally to each and everyone who supported the games and gave their emotional energy towards it. The team was 60 million strong, and a nation delivered! When I hold the medal, that's what I think of.

How did you celebrate?

The first night I was broken, so it was an early night, rather disappointingly, however on the second night I had a great time with some amazing friends who had come over from the USA. However, every time someone recognised me or asked to see the medal, the celebrations continue and the smiles come back. I'm so privileged to be in this position. I essentially have a 'party in my pocket'! So long as I have my medal with me!

A number of Oxford alumni won medals. How do you think your time here contributed to your sporting success? And what would you say to encourage current students to follow in your footsteps?

My time at Oxford showed me what could be achieved in life if you have the right support and the right attitude. The message was exactly the same between my course here, and the rowing team. While I was a rower previously, the sport had never really captured my imagination. It was my year at Oxford that opened up a whole new appreciation for life and living it. It's something I wish that more people could have through all our lives. We'd certainly be richer for it, and I'm not talking about money.

What will you do next? Will you be aiming for Rio?

For me rowing has to come from the heart. You have to want to put yourself through some considerable pain, and compromise. So in light of this, I'll take my time to decide my future. Rowing is definitely a choice, but there are a few doors to look in before anything is settled! Whatever it is, I hope that I continue to enjoy life like I have done over the past few years!

Davis Tarwater's return to Oxford after the Games

'My time at Oxford significantly helped open my mind to new possibilities and encouraged me to constantly strive for self-betterment in my athletic pursuits.'

The Olympic Torch in Oxford

The London 2012 Olympic Torch comes to Oxford's legendary Iffley Road stadium, where the four-minute mile was first run. Featuring contributions from Sir Roger Bannister, gold medallist Steph Cook and wheelchair racer Nikki Emerson, as well as torch bearer Nicola Byrom.

The Olympic torch was taken around the Roger Bannister track at Iffley Road stadium on 10 July.

Samsung (an Official Worldwide Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games) had invited the University to nominate torch bearers to carry the torch through the city on 9 and 10 July. They were Professor Richard Cooper, Maureen O'Neill and DPhil student Nicola Byrom.

Professor Cooper has been heavily involved in sport at Oxford for 45 years, initially as a student playing hockey and cricket and later as a key supporter of organised sport as a senior member of sports teams. He has recently retired as Chair of the University Sports Committee after 15 years, during which time the sports service has trebled its size in terms of student sports provision. He still plays cricket for the University emeriti team.

Nicola Byrom is studying experimental psychology and has volunteered for a number of eating disorder-related projects. In 2009 she launched Student Run Self Help, a volunteer-run organisation which provides self-help groups across the country for students with eating disorders, and has raised more than £60,000 for the programme.

Maureen O’Neill, Director of Development for the Oxford Faculty of Law, was nominated for a lifetime of non-profit and volunteer work. She is a governor for St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, a Parish Council member of Corpus Christi, an advisor for Creation Theatre and a volunteer for the Scouts, helping to raise £92,000 for their World Scout Jamboree last summer. She has worked with the Law Faculty since 2004.