Olympic champ eyes Rio as she becomes Oxford Brookes chancellor

OLYMPIC gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger was officially made Chancellor of Oxford Brookes yesterday, but it didn’t stop her from her rigorous training regime.

The British rower joked: “I did a couple of hours in the boat this morning – being made chancellor does not excuse me from a full day of training.

“I’m training six or seven days a week ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.”


Shami Chakrabarti, left, with Dr Katherine Grainger. Picture: Damian Halliwell

Dr Grainger’s inauguration ceremony was watched by three previous chancellors: human rights activist Shami Chakrabarti, Channel 4 broadcaster Jon Snow and barrister Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.

She admitted some nerves before taking on the seven-year role and said: “I have some big, big shoes to fill.

“Oxford Brookes is renowned for its very strong principles and values, and previous chancellors are known for their work on human rights and things.

“I was a bit concerned as I’m better known as an athlete, so I wasn’t sure how that would fit.

“It’s incredibly flattering.”

Best known for winning a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics, Dr Grainger said she would not be joining the university’s rowing team.

“I’ll be an enthusiastic supporter from the sidelines. When I’m not training I like to take a break from sports so I don’t think I’ll be taking part.”

After getting a degree in law at Edinburgh University, Dr Grainger achieved a Masters in medical law from Glasgow University and a PhD in sentencing of homicide at King’s College London.

When asked how Oxford Brookes compared, she told the Oxford Mail: “The lovely thing you feel straight away is a wonderful, welcoming feeling. It’s got a real heart as well as having a successful academic record.”

In her first action as Chancellor, Dr Grainger officially opened the university’s John Henry Brookes Building, which was completed in February 2014.

Article care of the Oxford Mail