Breadcrumbs

Celebrating Waikato University’s Olympic connections

23 July 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games runs from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Photo: Alex Smith on Unsplash.

The University of Waikato is well-represented at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which runs from Friday 23 July to Sunday 8 August 2021.

Eight current students and nine Waikato University alumni are among the elite New Zealand athletes competing in the Olympics across a range of sporting disciplines including track cycling, rowing, kayaking, rugby sevens, hockey and athletics.

Current students include:

  • Bryony Botha (track cycling - women’s team pursuit/Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology)
  • Max Brown (canoe/kayak sprint/Master of Business and Management)
  • Jackie Gowler (rowing - women’s eight/Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance)
  • Jack Lopas (rowing - men’s double scull/Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours)
  • Hannah Osborne (rowing - women’s double scull/Bachelor of Environmental Planning)
  • Jordan Parry (rowing - men’s single scull/Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Psychology)
  • Caleb Shepherd (rowing - cox for the women’s eight/Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching in Secondary - English)
  • Ellesse Andrews (track cycling - women’s Keirin and individual sprint, Bachelor of Communications Studies majoring in Public Relations)

Among our alumni at the Tokyo Olympics are:

  • Camille Buscomb (athletes - women’s 5000m and 10,000m/Bachelor of Arts, majored in Psychology - 2016)
  • Sam Dakin (track cycling - men’s team sprint and Keirin/Bachelor of Business Analysis, majored in Financial Analysis - 2018)
  • Stacey Fluhler (rugby sevens - women/Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance - 2017)
  • Callum Gilbert (canoe slalom - men’s K1/Bachelor of Science, majored in Computer Science - 2017)
  • Megan Hull (hockey/Bachelor of Communications Studies, majored in Public Relations - 2016)
  • Shaun Kirkham (rowing - men’s eight/Bachelor of Communications Studies, majored in Management Communication - 2020)
  • Jaime Nielsen (track cycling - women’s team pursuit/Bachelor of Science, majored in Chemistry - 2006)
  • Nick Ross (hockey/Bachelor of Business Analysis, majored in Financial Analysis - 2012)
  • Callum Saunders (track cycling - men’s Keirin and individual sprint, Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours - 2020)
  • Emma Twigg (rowing - women’s single scull, Bachelor of Communications Studies, majored in Public Relations - 2010)

Many of the current athletes and alumni attended Waikato University on sporting scholarships including Prime Minister Scholarships and the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship.

In addition, Waikato University staff and researchers are involved in the Tokyo Olympics in a number of ways.

PhD students Stephen Fenemor and Conor McNeill from the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance in Tauranga are supporting our athletes in Tokyo.

Stephen is a performance physiologist at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and is using his PhD research on heat acclimatisation and heat management to help our athletes deal with Tokyo’s hot, humid summer conditions. Conor is also proud to be at the Tokyo Olympics, working as a strength and conditioning specialist alongside our Olympians.

Professor Holly Thorpe and Professor Belinda Wheaton have released a new book on Action Sports and the Olympic Games - Past Present and Future.

Their book details how the International Olympic Committee has included four new action sports - surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and BMX freestyle - in the Tokyo Olympics programme to appeal to younger audiences. Read their article on The Conversation and listen to Radio New Zealand’s Nine To Noon show to find out more.

You can also hear from them and other experts at our Kaupapa Kōrero panel discussion on campus on 27 July, which is free to the public (register here). The topic is Faster, Higher, Stronger... Riskier? Power, performance and patriotism at the COVID Olympics.


Latest stories

Related stories

Huy Vu

A rare gem

Obituary: Huy Tien Vu

tai-tuhiwai-profile

Engineering grad learning the ropes at Fonterra

Tairongo Tuhiwai says Waikato set him up well for an engineering career.

Researchers address inequities in diabetes treatment for Māori and Pacific people

University of Waikato researchers are undertaking a pivotal study into the treatment of patients with…

University alumni and honorary staff recognised in New Year's Honours

A total of seven University of Waikato alumni, plus an adjunct professor, have been named…

Cushla Foe

Ready and raring to go

Cushla Foe was working in retail in Queensland when she decided she was ready for…

Esports arena

University of Waikato launches New Zealand’s first Esports minor qualification

With three out of every four New Zealanders now involved in video gaming, the University…

PhD student

University of Waikato researchers to lead seaweed farming trials in Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty

University of Waikato researchers’ Dr Marie Magnusson and Dr Rebecca Lawton will receive $1.2 million…

jamie-fitzgerald

Adventures, business and lessons from lockdown

Catching up with Distinguished Alumnus Jamie Fitzgerald.

tiotio-lockington

Engineering for Samoa's renewable energy efforts

Before he had even started university study, Tiotio Lockington knew he wanted to contribute to…

Steve Hodgkinson

Alumnus working at the forefront of new immunity support against Covid-19

University of Waikato alumnus Dr Steve Hodgkinson is CEO at RuaTech where he is part…

Leilani

Law alumna helps protect constitutional law

The University of Waikato alumnus and Supreme Court Justice of Samoa, Leilani Tuala-Warren, considers her…

Priya profile

Good and meaningful work

University of Waikato alumna, Dr Sripriya Somasekha, received a Public Service Award acknowledging her work…