Olympic Alumnus honoured by University

Claire Diamond

Olympic Gold Medalist and Glasgow University Alumnus Katherine Grainger has been awarded the GU Young Alumnus of the Year Award.

Katherine Grainger MBE, Britain’s most successful female rower, won a Gold medal for Team GB at London 2012 with rowing partner Anna Watkins. In August, she won the women’s Olympic double sculls and gained Britain’s sixth gold medal of the Games.  Her Olympic achievements make her the first female British athlete to win medals in four consecutive Olympics.

Grainger was in attendance at Glasgow’s alumni Christmas dinner in the University’s Bute Hall on Saturday to receive the reward in recognition of her sporting achievements. Grainger was also nominated for Sports Personality of the Year, but lost out to cyclist Bradley Wiggins.

Speaking of being awarded with GUYA award Grainger said:  “It’s incredible. I felt the big focus for me this year would be the Olympics, and winning it was everything I wanted it to be. I kind of thought I’d won everything I could win, so to be awarded this on top makes the year even more special.”

After completing her undergraduate law degree in Edinburgh, Grainger returned to Glasgow – where she was born – to study for a Masters in Medical Law and Medical Ethics.  She is currently completing a PhD at King’s College London.

She added: “I wouldn’t have done a PhD if it hadn’t been for the Masters at Glasgow. I used to really look forward to seeing the people in my class who I absolutely loved to work with. I remember them all being hugely supportive. Time management is very challenging, but I’ve always found that I can do both rowing and studying. When I can get outside it gets me awake and alert and then ready to go and do some thinking. So actually I do find that they’re a good balance for each other.”

Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal & Vice Chancellor of the University, said: “I’m delighted Katherine has been chosen as our Young Alumnus of the year. I am constantly impressed by the achievements of Glasgow’s alumni.  The University community was delighted to see her hard work being rewarded this year, with the achievement of her long-held dream of Olympic gold and we are proud to count her among our alumni.”

Previous recipients of this Award include world-record-breaking sporting star Mark Beaumont and musician Emeli Sandé.


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