Four students from Manchester Metropolitan University have qualified for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, starting this weekend in Rio de Janeiro.
The University prides itself on its sport development opportunities for students, offering the use of impressive facilities and a sports scholarship programme.
Staff have supported and encouraged many students who had dreams of qualifying for Rio this summer, and for 4 of them, their dreams have become a reality.
For 2 of the selected athletes, it won’t be their first time competing on the world’s biggest sporting stage. Pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw and cyclist Helen Scott both competed in the London 2012 games.
24-year-old Holly, who is undertaking a Bsc in Sport Exercise and Science at the university, is striving to claim a medal this year, after finishing a very respectable 6th place at her last Olympics.
In an interview with the University, Holly was optimistic, saying, “London was my first major championships and I was still very young but now I am focusing on performing to my very best and challenging for a spot on the podium”.
Helen on the other hand, secured a bronze medal in her pursuit event and a silver medal in her 1km time trial at the 2012 Paralympics. After qualifying again this year, she’ll no doubt be going for gold.
For the other two Manchester Met sport stars, competing in the competition this year will be a first.
The youngest of the 4, 19-year-old Tully Kearney has been selected to compete in the Paralympic swimming team. Tully has shown major potential on the world stage, claiming a bronze, a silver and four gold medals at the 2015 IPC Swimming Championships in Glasgow.
Most recently qualifying for the competition is 23-year-old Kadeena Cox.
Kadeena has had a tough battle back to fitness, following a stroke in May 2014 and the news that she suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), later in the year.
Determined not to let her health problems stand in her way, the athlete has qualified for both cycling and athletics at this year’s Paralympics. If she wins medals in both events, she’ll be the first to do so at the same Paralympics, since 1988.
The opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games will take place on Friday 6 August at midnight (UK time), showing live on BBC 1. The Paralympic opening ceremony will be later, on 7 September.