Students Staff

26 August 2011

Special Olympian visits University

Colchester Campus

Julio Cesar Leon with David Gladwell and Justin Hubbard

Venezuela’s first Olympian, Julio César León, who competed in track cycling at the 1948 London Olympics, visited the University as part of a tour of preparations for London 2012.

Mr León, now 86, was able to compete in 1948 thanks to sponsorship from the British Embassy in Venezuela, which funded his return visit. The trip was being covered by a Venezuelan TV crew who are producing a documentary looking at his memories of the 1948 Games in contrast to the preparations for London 2012.

During his visit to Colchester Campus Mr León was shown around the Evolve gym at the Sports Centre and the Human Performance Unit (HPU) at the Centre for Sports and Exercise Science (CSES). Mr León was welcomed by the CSES director, Professor Martin Sellens and HPU manager, Dave Parry and was shown how modern cyclists undergo physiological testing within the sports science labs.

“It’s a great honour to welcome such a distinguished former Olympian to the University,” said Dave Parry. “It was great to hear about his experiences at the Olympics and his cycling career, and to be able to show him how sports science testing is used today.”

During his visit to the HPU lab Mr León added: “I wish I had been able to have all this wonderful technology when I was training.”

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