Professor Alison McGregor on carrying the Olympic Torch “I hope I don’t drop it!”

On Saturday 21st July, Professor Alison McGregor ran 300m of the Olympic Torch replay in Greenwich. She was selected along with two students, out of a vast number of applicants, to represent Imperial College London. She was nominated by the college for all her work supporting students at Imperials Boat Club – treating injuries and helping students organise and run conferences.

The whole process was amazing, starting off with an event on the first December 2011 for all higher education staff and students who had been selected to take part in the Olympic flame torch relay. Common to all people attending was the disbelief in why they had been selected when there were so many people doing so many wonderful things. During the event they were entertained by movie clips of past Olympic torch bearers and some dancing, but most inspirational of all was a talk given by Sally Gunnell OBE.

“Since I work with many elite athletes I know the commitment and hard work that goes into sporting success and the multi-disciplinary input into training, coaching, injury prevention and management – all areas of my own interest. But what struck me was her focus on self-belief, how she had to believe she could win and how she constantly rehearsed the final stages in her mind before she raced. Self belief is so critical to so many of us, whether it is a job interview, sitting our final exams or simply taking on a new role but one we so often downplay or simply fail to consider. Believing in the ability to achieve and knowing that you have the best training and preparation is a common message from our sporting heroes and ones I personally shall remember and will encourage my staff, mentees and students to consider.”

Alison was supported by family, friends, colleagues and students on the day, helping to make it one to stick in her memory forever.

“It is still surreal to think of what I took part in – I will never forget that day and I feel truly privileged and humbled from the experience. I also want to wish the GB rowers a huge congratulations on behalf of the MSk Lab for their phenomenal sportsmanship representing team GB at the Olympic Games.”

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