Over the years, a high number of our students have achieved international fame in a wide variety of sports including competing at the Olympics. To celebrate International Women’s Day we would like to highlight some of our successful female athletes from over the years.
Our first female student to win an Olympic medal was Kathy Smallwood Cook (née Smallwood) who won a Bronze medal in the 4x100m Relay at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. She also won a Bronze medal in the 400m and a Bronze medal in 4x100m Relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Kathy held the UK National records for 100m, 200m and 400m for over 25 years. Her 100m personal best of 11.10 secs stood as the UK record from 1981-2008 and her personal best of 22.10 for 200m stood from 1984-2015.
Kathy Smallwood Cook, Los Angeles 1984
Ann Wild was our first student to take part in a Paralympic game, competing at the Seoul Paralympics in 1988 in wheelchair basketball. Ann went onto compete in a further four Paralympics in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. Our first Paralympic medal was won by Vicki Hansford, who won a Bronze medal in the mixed coxed fours (adaptive rowing) at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Ann Wild (right) at the 2018 Beijing Paralympics.
Vicki Hansford c 2008
Kate Richardson-Walsh, OBE (née Walsh) is an English field hockey player. She won an Olympic Gold medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and a Bronze medal at London 2012. She was capped a record 375 times for her country and was the England and Great Britain Ladies Hockey Captain for 13 years.
Kate Richardson-Walsh (left) at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Montell Douglas competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in the 100m and 4x100m relay. In 2016, she changed disciplines from sprinting to bobsleigh and was selected to represent GB in the women’s bobsleigh squad for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. She is the first British woman ever to be selected for both the Summer and Winter Olympics in different sports.