Eight students and alumni from University College Dublin (UCD) have qualified to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.
In August, UCD students will be competing in their events, which include rowing, hockey, men’s 800 metres, women’s 800 metres, women’s 1,500 and the pentathlon. Whilst they are in Rio representing Ireland they will also be representing University College Dublin. At UCD these athletes have been able to reach Olympic standards in athletics at the same time as completing their education.
Among the athletes from UCD is Mark English, a fourth year student studying Medicine. He is a European Indoor silver medallist and holds the Irish Senior Indoor 800m record. He’s currently ranked 15th in the world for 800m. Running the women’s 800 metres is Ciara Everard who is the Irish Indoor 800m record holder. She has completed her Masters in Sports Physiotherapy and is ranked 60th in the world.
On UCD's campus is The National Hockey Stadium. This facility has been used for the Women's World Cup finals and the Men’s Hockey European Championships and would have helped both Shane O'Donoghue and Kirk Shimmins on their journey to Olympics. They are both competing in Rio for Hockey which will be the first time the Irish hockey team has competed in the Olympics since 1908.
University College Dublin has excellent facilities. Located on UCD's campus is a brand new gym full of state-of-the-art equipment. Guidance is never far away as there are always personal trainers on the gym floor ready to give you free advice. If you prefer to exercise in a group, the gym offers over 140 free fitness lessons a week. UCD also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool where there are fast, medium and slow lanes for swimmers of all abilities. Whether you are a budding Olympic athlete or simply someone who likes to keep fit, UCD will cater for you.