The Olympic light shines on Swansea University

As the Olympic flame lights a trail around its campus Swansea University will be reflecting on the important role it is playing in the London 2012 Olympics and in raising Swansea and Wales’s profile as a major sporting destination.

Pictures of the Olympic flame:

at Swansea University

on the streets of Swansea

In addition to hosting the New Zealand and Mexican Paralympic athletes pre-training camps Swansea University already has four students who have been selected to compete in the games and a Swansea University graduate has been responsible for planning the torch relay route.  

The Mexican Paralympic Committee will have a total team of 40 based at Swansea University. Prof. O. Sergio Durand Alcántara, Secretary General of the Mexican Paralympic Committee, said:

 “It will be a great privilege to have our last training camp to participate in the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Swansea University in Wales; the venues are really good.

“It is important to mention the great support that I have received from Welsh Government and also from Swansea University staff. I am sure that our pre Games training camp will be a great success and impact positively on the medals that our National Delegation will obtain in the Paralympic Games, but also for the opportunity to interact with the people of Wales."

The New Zealand Paralympic team has also chosen Swansea as the place to make final preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  PNZ’s Chief Executive Fiona Pickering said that their high performance team had been “hugely impressed with the facilities in Swansea and the team of people in Wales.”

Swansea has some of the best sporting facilities in the UK. The Wales National Pool, regional athletics track and top class artificial training pitches, along with the range of facilities at the LC, will be a great training base for the Paralympians from New Zealand and Mexico.

On the home front Swansea University is proud that four of its students have already  qualified for the Games – swimmer Georgia Davies and paralympic swimmers Matthew Whorwood and Gemma Almond and paralympic boccia player David Smith.

History student Gemma Almond has qualified for the 200m individual medley setting a new British record and smashing records for the 100m butterfly whilst BEng Mechanical Engineering student Matthew Whorwood has qualified for the Paralympic swimming team and is currently training with them, Law student Georgia Davies will be competing in the 100m backstroke and BEng Aerospace Engineering student David Smith will be joining his GB team mates on the boccia court.

Former Swansea University student Claudine Ratnayake, who graduated in American Management Science in 1997, is responsible for planning the route of the Torch Relay, the stops and the logistics for each day as well as working with Local Authorities to stage the Evening Celebration. She is responsible for 17 days in the South West, West Midlands and Wales. When it comes to relay time, her job is to always be 5mins – 2 hours ahead of the convey making sure that all the plans are in place and if something has gone wrong – fix it! After the torch relay has finished Claudine will then begin preparing for the Paralympic Torch Relay.