The OD Issue 2 - page 4

At the time of writing, London is making
final preparations for the 2012 Games. As
anticipation rises, ODs are involved not
only as competitors but also in the essential
delivery of a huge international event.
Reaching for Gold
Frances Houghton (OD 1993) has already
made a name for herself as an outstanding
rising star of women’s sculling. She
joined the Junior British Rowing Team
in 1995 and subsequently achieved
four gold medals in the World Rowing
Championships. She won her first silver
medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and
her second at the Beijing 2008 Olympics
in the women’s quadruple events. Now she
knows she will be competing in 2012.
“Our daily schedule comprises
5-5.5 hours of training each day,
with 36-44km on the rowing
machine and on the water, and
some weight lifting thrown in for
good measure.“
“The spirit in the team is the highest I
have known it, and it’s a privilege to be a
part of what we’re building together,” says
Frances. “Everyone is looking forward to
performing at their best in front of our
home crowd in London. Wherever you
are, please shout loud - it really does make
a difference!”
As a notable long distance runner, Hatti
Dean (OD 1995) has been on track for
Olympic level competition in recent years.
She set three 3000m steeplechase national
records and was Britain’s top runner at
both the 2007 World Cross Country
Championships and 2008 European Cross
Country Championships before going on
to win gold at the 2009 National Cross
Country competition. Hatti was unable to
compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics
in Beijing due to an ankle injury, but
she has continued to work hard and her
running times have continued to improve.
Top British runner in the 2010 European
Cross-Country Championships, and
21st in the 2011 World Cross-Country
Championships, she hopes to qualify
for the London 2012 Olympics 3000m
Steeplechase event.
A Very Dragon Event
Andrew Hunt (OD 1974) is co-founder and
director of ‘London Eventing’. Andrew and
his three colleagues – all leading course
builders in their field – won the contract
to build the Olympic Games three-day
eventing cross country course at
Greenwich Park, which is the venue
for the show jumping, cross country
and dressage events.
In order to protect the park and ensure
sustainability, the company was briefed
to use innovative non-evasive techniques
to build the course and jumps. All of
the structures installed, including the
arena and the cross-country jumps, are
temporary and will be removed after
the Games.
“It’s a fantastic venue, the water
jump is already in situ – it’s the
current boating lake!”
The company will build thirty-six
portable jumps in advance off-site and
are only allowed to construct the course
three weeks before the eventing starts.
Competing to the very best of their
abilities, being part of an outstanding
team or contributing to a fantastic occasion
in an environmentally sympathetic way,
come naturally to former Dragons. We
wish them all a wonderful experience at
this momentous event.
For most Dragons, games and sport are only a part, albeit a very important part, of the myriad of
activities that form the building blocks of school life. However for some sporting Old Dragons,
skill, dedication and ambition to succeed have taken them on to great professional heights; for a
few, these now include the extraordinary opportunity to compete in the Olympics being held in
their home country.
Horse&Hound/IPC Media
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