University of Cambridge graduate on the road to the London 2012 Olympic Games
28 June 2012
Emma Pooley, a former University of Cambridge student, is set to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games after her place on the Team GB road cycling squad was secured last week.
It was whilst studying Engineering as a member of Trinity Hall at Cambridge University that Pooley really discovered her sport.
As a keen cross country runner, she only switched to cycling in her fourth year at Cambridge when she entered the National Road Race Championships and came fourth.
She said: “I rode to school sometimes like many children, but didn’t get a proper road bike until my second year at Cambridge. I was in quite a few sports clubs, mostly to do with running. I was devastated when I sustained a stress fracture and couldn’t run for 6 weeks, so I got a road bike to cross-train. I didn’t enjoy it at all to start with, but it was a way to stay fit while I couldn’t run and it got me into triathlon. I never thought I’d one day go to the Olympic Games as a cyclist.”
Pooley continued her sport and her learning after graduating from Cambridge, moving to Switzerland to do a PhD at ETH Zürich in 2005. Working full-time in research while racing with the Belgian cycling team at weekend, Pooley juggled her education with her new passion for cycling. Attributing her success to the flexibility of her studies, the 29-year old said:
“I’m very fortunate in that my PhD supervisor is Professor Sarah Springman, and she has been hugely supportive of my cycling career. It’s only thanks to her I have been able to juggle research and cycling.”
Following her PhD Pooley went on to win a Silver medal in the Time Trial at the Beijing Olympics before becoming world champion in the discipline at the World Road Cycling championships in Australia in 2010.
Pooley will now join three others in the GB team at London 2012, saying: “I'm really pleased to be selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games, it’s a great honour.”
The road cycling event will start and finish near Hampton Court Palace in London.
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