Cycling champion Nicole Cooke honoured by Hallam
23rd November 2015
Nicole Cooke MBE, the first cyclist in history to win Olympic and World Championship road race gold in the same year, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University yesterday (17 November).
Upon collecting her award, the former professional cyclist and Commonwealth, Olympic and World Road Race champion said "I would like to thank Sheffield Hallam University for this Honorary Doctorate. It is a fantastic award and I'm very humbled to have received it." At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Nicole secured her greatest victory, sprinting to victory from a breakaway group and winning gold. Demonstrating a desire to never let up, Nicole went on the win the World Road Race Championships just six weeks later - becoming the first cyclist to achieve the historic double of becoming Olympic and World Champion in the same year. More impressive victories followed until Nicole brought her glittering career to an end in 2013, announcing her retirement from cycling. Last year Nicole released her autobiography, which described the struggle female cyclists endure in the face of sexism and inequality. As well as giving an account of 'a woman, in macho man territory', the book also took drug cheats and incompetent male management within cycling to task. Nicole has previously worked with the University when Sheffield Hallam sponosred the Tour de France last year. She was part of an expert panel at a Hallam-organised event on the science of cycling. Nicole continues to be a leading voice within the sport, in particular speaking out against drug cheats and calling for equality.