With the 2016 Rio Olympics just days away, members of Team GB will be completing their final preparations ahead of the competition. Amongst the team are a number of Oxonians – here are the ones with the best shot of a medal.
Andrew Triggs-Hodge MBE
Rower Andrew Triggs-Hodge is no stranger to the Olympics, having won gold in both London and Beijing in the men’s coxless four. With Rio 2016 likely to be the 37-year-old’s last Olympic Games he will be eager to add to that tally in the men’s eight boat this year. He completed an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at St Catherine’s in 2005, leading the Dark Blues to victory in the same year in the Boat Race. With the Team GB men’s eight winning silver and bronze at the last two Olympic Games, Hodge will be confident of increasing his medal haul in Rio – and he is joined by another Oxford alumnus, Kellogg’s Paul Bennett, in the team. He received an MBE in 2009 for services to sport.
Team GB hockey player Dan Fox will be hoping to improve on his team’s fourth-place finish in London to gain his first Olympic medal this summer. Fox, a defender, has captained his country multiple times, and confessed his pride in wearing the armband to the Hero World League Final in Raipur, India last year. Playing club hockey for Holcombe, in the England Hockey League, he also won a bronze medal with England at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The 33-year-old studied geography at Teddy Hall, graduating in 2005, and in addition to his hockey career can point to scoring a century for Oxford in the 2004 cricket varsity match as a sporting highlight.
Zoe de Toledo
Zoe de Toledo found fame both as the Dark Blue cox at the centre of the controversy surrounding protester Trenton Oldfield’s disruption of the 2012 Boat Race and, bizarrely, playing a cox in the 2010 film The Social Network chronicling the rise of Mark Zuckerburg’s Facebook empire. She will be hoping both of these achievements will be eclipsed by success for the women’s eight boat in Rio. The former MSc student in Criminology and Criminal Psychology, having suffered disappointment in winning silver in the European Rowing Championships in 2014, coxed the team to gold in the same competition this year, an achievement which makes her boat one of the favourites for victory this summer.
The first ever Team GB Rugby Sevens team is set to be captained by an Oxonian in Tom Mitchell, a Sevens specialist and 2011 OURFC Blue. Mitchell, who also captains the England Sevens team, after the squad announcement highlighted the “opportunity to showcase our event to the world” that the Olympics offered. Another Kellogg graduate, the 2013-14 HSBC World Series top points scorer will be leading a Team GB side less experienced than some of its rivals, with few big names from other codes like Sonny Bill Williams, a member of the New Zealand squad. However, with Sevens making its first appearance at the Games, the competition should be wide open.