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Olympic stars return to Bristol for sporting celebration

Hurdler and former University of Bristol student Lawrence Clarke in action

Hurdler and former University of Bristol student Lawrence Clarke in action

Georgie Twigg, Olympic bronze medallist, in action

Georgie Twigg, Olympic bronze medallist, in action

Press release issued: 29 October 2012

Three Team GB Olympians will be making a star appearance at a special celebratory evening organised by the University of Bristol and hosted by BBC Sports presenter John Inverdale.

Big names include London 2012 medallists Hannah Mills, who won silver in the women’s 470 sailing, bronze medal winning hockey player Georgie Twigg and 110m hurdler Lawrence Clarke who won plaudits around the world for his impressive fourth place finish.

All three were helped on the road to sporting success during their time studying at the University of Bristol.

They will be the interviewed by John Inverdale as part of the evening, which takes place on Saturday [3 November] and welcomes back a whole host of past students who have gone onto achieve success in the world of sport.

The dinner and dance, being held at the Bristol Marriott Hotel, has been organised to celebrate 25 years since the University introduced its High Performance Squad programme, which supports elite student athletes to fulfill their academic and sporting potential.

Also among the notable guests is rugby star Josh Lewsey MBE, who has played for England and Wasps during his distinguished career in the sport.

Simon Hinks, Director of Sport at Bristol University, said: “Bristol has produced some great sporting stars over the years and the evening will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate their success and the role Bristol University has played in this.

“John Inverdale will be interviewing our Olympians and I’m sure we’ll all be enthralled by their tales from London 2012. It’ll be especially nice for our current High Performance Squad members, some of whom we hope might be competing in Rio 2016, to hear about such inspirational experiences.”

Attendees include those who have received a Bristol Red – an honour bestowed on Bristol students who have shown exceptional performance in their respective sports and members of its High Performance Squad.

Further information

Hannah Mills, from Cardiff, won a silver medal in the women’s 470 sailing at London 2012 with partner Saskia Clark. They battled hard throughout the event, not finishing outside the top six the entire regatta. The 24-year-old was the first Welsh athlete to be selected to compete at London 2012. Hannah deferred the final year of her Engineering degree to focus on her sailing ambitions.

Georgie Twigg won bronze with her fellow Team GB hockey team members. They were initially heartbroken to lose against Argentina in the semi-final but secured a 3-1 win over New Zealand in the third-place play-off.

The 21-year-old was named as the youngest member of the women’s hockey squad in May, just weeks before sitting the final exams for her Law degree. The University had previously allowed her to spread her final year over two years to enable her to train with the GB squad so that she could continue with both her studies and realise her Olympic ambitions. She had to defer her graduation in July because it was the day she was due to move into the Olympic Village with her teammates.

Lawrence Clarke hit the headlines after an impressive performance in the final of the 110m hurdles, coming fourth – the highest placed European in the competition. Lawrence set a personal best of 13.31 in the semi-final to clinch the last spot in the final. Despite coming into the Games ranked 20th in the world, he surpassed expectations to finish fourth in 13.39.

Lawrence, graduated last year with a 2.1 in Theology and Religious Studies. In addition to being part of the High Performance Squad at Bristol University, he was also a Lloyd Robinson Scholar, receiving external funding and support to help him pursue his athletics career.


If any members of the press would like to attend the dinner or arrange an interview, please contact Philippa Walker.

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