Olympics and Paralympics

UEL has a great history of its current and former students competing in the Olympic and Paralympic games. Alumni have been able to compete in these games across various sports and for various nations.

Adam Gemili - Athletics

Currently Great Britain's second fastest ever athlete in the Men's 200m, Adam has represented his country on a  number of occasions. He was able to compete in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics where he finished in 4th place in the 200 metres in Rio. However he was able to win a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the 100m.

At UEL Adam gained a 2:1 while studying a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science. During his time at UEL he was also able to win Gold in the 2014 BUCS outdoor championships in Bedford.

Athlete Adam Gemili getting ready to run

Ade Ogunlewe - Athletics

Adeseye has competed for Nigeria at the Olympics and at the African games. He was part of the Olympic squad that went to Rio in 2016 where he qualified as the winner at the Nigerian trials. He reached the finals of the 2015 All-Africa games and competed in the 200m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Ade studied the LLM International Business Law while at UEL.

Ade Ogunlewe in a green Nigeria vest.

Paralympic Powerlifting

Ali holds world records in his weight class and has competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. In London he finished in an agonising 4th place just outside of the medals. However in 2016 he was able to win his first medal  - winning silver in Rio.  He has also won a gold medal at the 2014 World Championships and 2015 European Championships and a Bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Whilst at UEL Ali was able to study a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science.

Paralympic Powerlifter Ali Jawad.

Aimee Willmott - Swimming

Another of UEL's London 2012 Olympians, Aimee represented Great Britain in the 400m medley during the games. During the 2016 Rio Olympics she was able to finish in 7th place in the 400m Individual Medley. She has had numerous achievements on the international stage winning silver medals at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 2014, in addition to three bronze medals she won in other European Championship competitions.

As UEL's most successful swimmer it has been possible for her to win a great number of medals at both the BUCS Short and Long Course competitions while at UEL. Furthermore in 2015 she was selected as the BUCS Sportswoman of the Year. She was able to do this whilst studying a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science.

Swimmer Aimee Willmott.

Anne Wild - Wheelchair Basketball

As UEL's most experienced Paralympian, Ann has been able to represent Great Britain at a total of five Paralympic Games between 1988 and 2008. She was also captain of the team from 2003 and was able to help the team win medals at the European and World Championships. In 2010 Ann was also awarded an OBE for her services to Wheelchair Basketball.

While at UEL Ann studied an MSc Sports Psychology and narrowly missed out at reaching her 6th Olympic games at London 2012 when she made the switch to target shooting.

Wheelchair Basketball player Anne Wild.

Bianca Williams - Athletics

Bianca was selected as part of the 2016 Rio Olympics 4 x 100m relay squad. She was a part of the squad that was able to secure a Bronze medal for GB at the Olympics. As part of the Great Britain Athletics squad Bianca has represented her country and great number of times on the world stage. She has been part of a very successful women's British sprint relay squad over the last couple of years winning a silver medal in the 4 x 200m relay in 2014 and bronze in the 4 x 100m relay in 2015 at the world relays. Additionally at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 she won an individual Bronze medal in the 200m to add to another bronze in the 4 x100m relay.

While at UEL Bianca  studied BSc in Sports and Exercise Science.

Athlete Bianca Williams.

Gemma Gibbons - Judo

At the London 2012 Olympics Gemma provided one of the moments of the games on her way to winning a silver medal. Additionally she was able to continue her success on the international stage where she again won a silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Gemma was one of UEL's first sports scholars and had great success while completing her MSc in Exercise Science and Health.  She was able to win a silver medal at the BUCS Judo Championships as part of her preparation for London 2012.

Judo fighter Gemma Gibbons.

Lawrence Okolie - Boxing

While at UEL Lawrence went from heavyweight BUCS champion to Olympian in a matter of just over 12 months. During this time he represented GB in the European championships where he went on to become European champion at the first time of asking. Following his Olympic exploits, he turned professional and  has gone on to hold the WBO cruiserweight title.

While at UEL Lawrence studied a BA in Psychosocial Studies.

Boxer Lawrence Okolie sitting in a boxing ring wearing blue vest and shorts.

Peter Hardcastle - Rowing

Peter is one of UEL's most experienced Olympian;, he has represented Australia at a total of three Olympic games in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was able to reach the final in each Olympics he competed in. Further to this he won numerous rowing World Cup titles and medalled at World Championships.

While at UEL Peter completed an MSc in Risk Management and was able to win gold with his crew at the 2013 BUCS regatta.

Rower Peter Hardcastle.

Szandra Szogedi - Judo

Another of UEL's successful group of judo players, Szandra has competed a great number of times in world and continental competitions. Szandra was also selected to represent Ghana at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was successful competing  for Ghana in the African championships where she has won a number of medals in the past. These are in additional to the gold medal she won at the world cup in the African Open in 2014 where she won gold in the under 63kg weight class.

Szandra studied a BSc in Journalism during her time in UEL and was instrumental in the growth of the judo club. She won gold for UEL at the BUCS championships in 2012.

Judo fighter Szandra Szogedi.

Sophie Cox - Judo

During her time on the international stage Sophie has represented Great Britain at both the 2004 (Athens) and 2012 (London) Olympic Games. Additionally she won a bronze at the 2010 World Cup and is a 3 time European Cup medalist.

While Sophie was at UEL she completed an MSc in Strength and Conditioning while also winning Gold at the 2012 BUCS Judo Championships as part of her preparation for London 2012.

Judo fighter Sophie Cox.

Vanessa Wallace - Athletics

Vanessa is another success of our UEL athletics programme. She represented GB at the Rio 2016 Paralympic games. She was able to reach the games following a dramatic rise in the F34 shot put competition across an 18 month period where she went from novice to Paralympic competitor. She is a UK record holder in the F34 shot put and discus and has represented the country at numerous European and World Championships.

Vanessa currently studies a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science and at her first attempt won a double gold in the 2017 BUCS championships in both the F34 Shot put and discus.

Athlete Vanessa Wallace.

World Championships

The world championships define the best in the world in any given sport. UEL has many past and present students who have been able to compete at this level of competition across a wide variety of sports.

Rower Alan Sinclair standing in front of the River Thames.

Alan Sinclair - Rowing

Alan has been able to represent Great Britain on the international stage a huge number of times with great success. He is a two time World Championship medallist with a silver medal in 2014 and a bronze in 2015. In addition to these world championship medals Alan was able to add a gold medal at the 2015 European championships.

While at UEL he won both EUSA and BUCS gold medals in 2012 whilst being one of UEL's first rowing scholars. He studied an MSc in Development Psychology.

Judo fighter Andrew Burns

Andrew Burns - Judo

Andrew is a hugely successful athlete who has competed in a high volume of international competitions. During his extremely successful career he has  accumulated eight Judo World Cup medals and six Judo European Cup medals. Additionally in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games he was able to win a Bronze medal in the under 90kg weight class.

While at UEL he studied an MSc in Strength and Conditioning. 

Rower John Collins holding his medal,

John Collins - Rowing

John was one of UEL's first rowing scholars and has had a great history competing for Great Britain in international competition. He has competed in numerous World Cups and European championships in both double sculls and quad boats and is qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio in the men's double.

While at UEL he was able to win both EUSA and BUCS gold medals in 2011 and he studied MSc in International Politics.


Sailor Sam Breary.

Sam Breary - Sailing

UEL's only previous sailing scholar Sam is one of our most decorated alumni in international competitions. In the fireball class Sam is a former World and European Champion winning these competitions numerous times. Additionally he holds a British sailing record.

Sam completed his MSc in Sports Management during his time studying at UEL.


International Excellence Award Winners


Youcef Zatat - Athletics

Jaspreet Sagoo - Archery

Vanessa Wallace - Athletics

Shanice Lobb - Diving

Rinsola Babajide - Women's Football

Darren Wiafe-Morson - Athletics

Adeseye Ogunlewe - Athletics

Callum McBrierty - Rowing


Emmanuel Nartey - Judo

Jacob Robinson - Wheelchair Basketball

Harry Blyth - Wheelchair Basketball

Otesha Charles - Women's Football

Mercy Brown - Weightlifting


Mohammed Gharib - Athletics

Mark Garcia-Kidd - Beach Volleyball

Graham Bell - Volleyball

Aimee Willmott - Swimming

Christian Mbwakongo - Boxing

Bianca Williams - Athletics


Douglas Bennett - Basketball

Julia Scardone - Judo

Lindsay Bottoms - Fencing


Yassir Sliti - Volleyball

Sam Breary - Sailing

Peter Hardcastle - Rowing

Adam Gemili - Athletics


Asgar Nasimi - Sitting Volleyball

Szandra Szogedi - Judo

Sophie Cox - Judo


John Collins - Rowing

Louise Little - Judo

Zachariah Gachette - Basketball

Ali Jawad - Paralympic Powerlifting

Jamell Anderson - Basketball

Myles Hesson - Basketball

Colin Sing - Basketball


Jeffrey Lawal-Balogun - Athletics

Gemma Collins - Judo

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