John's dream of Olympic success in London
Published Wednesday 9th May 2012
A BA Business and Marketing student from The University of Northampton's Business School is eagerly awaiting the annoucement of whether he has made it onto the U.S Olympic team.
John Gibbons, 22, is in Year 2 of his degree and has been studying part-time over the last four years whilst he trains with the U.S Pentathlon team in America.
John will find out in June whether he will be representing the U.S at London 2012. He commented:
"I've been competitive swimming since I was eight years old and winning a few county championships. I then progressed to take part in the U.S Pentathlon national championships in New Mexico in 2007 and represented the U.S in both the Youth and Junior World Championships when I was 18.
"I was asked to attend the U.S Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs from September 2010 - July 2011. The top 5% of athletes are invited to this facility for training at Olympic level, so it was a great honour for me to be selected. I had already started my studies at The University of Northampton but they allowed me to defer for two years and have been extremely helpful with this flexibility for my studies.
"You could be training for six - seven hours a day, so I found my textbooks a great help to focus me on something else. I wanted to keep up with my course and the reading. I also know that eventually all this sport will end and I'll be doing something after that - having a degree in Business and Marketing will be very valuable."
A pentathlon is a competition featuring five different events - typically shooting, swimming, fencing, equestrian and cross country running.
"I enjoy swimming a lot," John stated, "Pentathlons are a real test of endurance as they last all day. I have a 'psyched mix' on my iPod to get me ready, which gets the job done! Before a competition, sleep is vital, as is a lot of pasta."
John returned to the UK and his studies in September 2011. He plans to go straight into Year 3 of his course in September - hopefully with unforgettable experiences of competing for his country in London 2012.