02 Aug 2012

OU student Etienne wins gold in the canoe slalom at Olympics

Huge congratulations are sent out today to Open University student Etienne Stott who has just taken gold, along with his partner Tim Baillie in the canoe slalom pairs. Etienne, a 31-year-old psychology student at the OU, got Team GB’s third gold medal of the day in a thrilling race at the Lee Valley White Water Centre this afternoon.

His achievements now take the Team GB medal tally to 13 and place the team fifth in the rankings.

Etienne, who went to school near Bedford, told BBC 3 Counties Radio that winning the gold was “a dream”. He told the local radio station: “We did feel the pressure but for me I thought we needed something to go right today. There is nothing taken for granted in this sport and getting to the final was amazing."

The pair’s win followed two days without medals for Team GB in the individual races at the canoe slalom, which takes place at the Hertfordshire course.

Newspaper Bedford Times & Citizen reported scenes of joy from the men at their victory, as they jumped in the water to celebrate.

The Open University has a number of high achieving sports people currently studying, with professional footballers, power lifters and cross country skiers among its undergraduates. A new sport-themed qualification has also launched this year, the BSc (Hons) Sports, Fitness & Coaching, which expands the existing Foundation Degree in Sport & Fitness to full honours. Find out more here:


About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.7 million students and has more than 264,000 current students, including 18,000 overseas.

The OU has been one of the top three UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2010/11 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 21 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 50 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.


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