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Brunel's big impression on Olympic silver

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A Team GB silver medal winner has told how being a Brunel student helped set him in perfect stead for the starting line.

Canoe sprinter Jon Schofield upgraded his bronze from London 2012, with a silver in the men's kayak double 200 metres at Rio 2016.

“Brunel staff inspired me in many ways,” Jon said just before his first heats. “The critical thinking permeated my approach to training for the games. It helped prepare me to sit on the start line in the form of my life.”

Kayaker Jon, 31, studied a Masters in Sports, Health and Exercise Science (Human Performance) in the middle of his Olympic training cycle in 2015, to wind down after his day job.

“The studying was the perfect downtime for me in a way. Keeping my mind active was a perfect counterpoint to the hard training in between.” He hoped his studies at Brunel would boost his training and help him prepare for life after sport. “It did that and much much more,” he said.

The Olympian had personal thanks for the London university’s Dr Richard Godfrey and Dr Lee Romer, who taught him physiology and biomechanics lecturers Dr Thomas Korff and Dr Nick Linthorne.  

“I have a massive passion for sports, performance and the scientific process,” he said. “I really hope I can work in this area once my competitive career is over. But for now I just have to paddle.”

Another former student and fellow of Brunel, Kate Richardson-Walsh MBE, captained the British hockey team to its first ever gold medal on Friday night. In one of the most dramatic moments of the Games, Great Britain beat defending Olympic champions the Netherlands in a punishing penalty shoot-out.

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