Although most enjoy cheering for their own country during the summer Olympics, two former Oakland University swimmers will be giving OU students a reason to be proud of their university.
Line Jensen swam at OU and will be competing in the triathlon event for Denmark in London. She graduated from OU with honors in biochemistry and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark.
Olympic triathletes qualify for the Olympics based on their top 14 results from international competitions in the last two years. The times they submit must also be within the top 50 of the competition and within five percent of the winner’s time for men’s and eight percent for women’s races.
Pete Hovland, coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams at OU, explained that when swimmers are not competing, they train in other ways, such as running. He said this was an area in which Jensen excelled.
“I can see why she’s gone into being a triathlete, because she was the best runner on our team, very all around athlete,” he said.
Scott Dickens will also be competing at this summer’s Olympics. He attended the university for a year on a swimming scholarship.
After his freshman year, Dickens was offered an opportunity to train in Vancouver and attend the University of British Columbia, where he graduatewd with a degree in economics.
“He had so much talent and swam so well in his freshman year, that the Canadian Swimming Federation presented him with some options that he couldn’t really refuse,” Hovland said.
“I definitely couldn’t have done it without that one year at OU because it really set me up and gave me that base of training to make the Olympic team,” he said.
Although he only had one year at OU, Dickens remembers it fondly. He said he liked dorm life and that the writing and rhetoric courses he completed gave him good foundational writing skills.
He also enjoyed going to the Stuffed Bun, a restaurant located just off campus, after swim meets and practices.
“It was just unreal, it was just unbelievable,” he said. “They had all you can eat French toast on Saturdays.”
To qualify for the Olympics, swimmers must participate in Olympic trials and do as good or better than that country’s Olympic qualifying A or B time standard. If two athletes meet the A standard, the higher of the two, then the country may send both athletes. However, if only the B time standard is met, the country may send only one.
As this is his last year of competitive swimming, Dickens said that he is most looking forward to giving his events his all.
“Other than that, once the swimming’s done, I’m going to take off the goggles and go experience the games,” he said.
Contact Senior Reporter Sarah Hunton via email at email@example.com