Olympic cycling champion Paul Manning went back to university yesterday to be crowned with a special award.
Manning, 34, who was part of the British pursuit team which broke the world record twice on their way to winning gold at the Beijing Games, said he was “obviously delighted” as he collected Birmingham University’s Alumnus of the Year award.
It marks the achievements of former students who have had an impact on society.
Manning, of Stockport, graduated with a degree in Earth Sciences in 1996.
He said: “I enjoyed my time in Birmingham immensely, aided by the campus life and the choice of activities the city offers a student.
“My time there certainly changed my life by giving me the platform and confidence to pursue my sporting goals, safe in the knowledge that I had a great education from a well-respected university behind me.
“It’s always nice to be invited back to campus, and it is particularly special as collecting my degree is a very fond memory from my time at Birmingham.”
Manning has retired from the sport after finally winning gold in the men’s pursuit after getting silver at the Athens Olympics and bronze at the Sydney 2000 Games in the same event.
Nick Blinco, of Birmingham University, said: “The university has watched Paul’s career with pride.
“We are delighted to recognise him with this award and hope that his successes will inspire future generations to achieve similar heights.”