Staffs graduate Andrew Triggs Hodge celebrates third Olympic gold

“Andrew has demonstrated over three Olympic Games that he can perform at the highest level when it matters most.”

Professor Marc Jones, Head of the School of Sport, Psychology and Exercise

Staffordshire University graduate Andrew Triggs Hodge is celebrating his third Olympic gold after rowing to victory in the Men's Coxed Eight in Rio.

The 37-year-old has won his third consecutive medal after claiming gold in the Coxless Four title at both the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and in London in 2012.

"That's right up there, both with Beijing and London. All three of my medals sit side by side. It was an incredible row." Andrew told the Daily Mail.

"I'm proud to have been with such an outstanding crew and the eight, more so than the fours, is a wholly team event. Only teams win that, not individuals. We absolutely delivered for each other."

Andrew took up the sport of rowing while studying for his Environmental Science degree at Staffordshire University and shortly after his triumph at the London 2012 games made his inspirational return to the University as part of the opening ceremony for the new Science Centre.

In 2013, Andrew was recognised with the University's highest honour - the award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University and in 2015 was invested as Pro Chancellor.

Professor Marc Jones, Head of the School of Sport, Psychology and Exercise at Staffordshire University, specialises in the research of stress and emotion and believes that Andrew’s mental preparation before competing has been key to his success.

When he visited the University after London 2012, Andrew revealed that his psychological preparation for races included watching films and playing video games to relax.

“If you spend time worrying or going over things in your mind it can be quite stressful and overwhelming but Andrew’s relaxation methods have certainly proved effective.” commented Marc.

“Andrew has demonstrated over three Olympic Games that he can perform at the highest level when it matters most.”

“It is particularly impressive to see him do this over two different events and to win in the Men's Eight which is the blue ribbon event of the rowing fixture list is a fantastic achievement.”