Swimming star Scott graduates ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Duncan Scott has wrapped up his studies before he heads east to chase medals.

Scott is one of five University of Stirling swimmers heading to Tokyo. University of Stirling via University of Stirling
Scott is one of five University of Stirling swimmers heading to Tokyo.

Olympian Duncan Scott has been given a boost ahead of the Tokyo Games as the swimmer graduated from University of Stirling.

The 24-year-old has broken two British freestyle records in qualification for Team GB but has balanced his Olympic preparation with the completion of his studies.

Scott has now been awarded a 2:1 in Business and Sports Studies just weeks before he heads east hoping to add to the two Olympic silver medals he won at Rio 2016.

The Glasgow-born swimmer, who is dyslexic, revealed that he put his academic achievement right up alongside his athletic success, and wouldn’t rule out further study after the next Olympic cycle.

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“One of the things I’m most proud of, in all honesty, is getting a 2:1,” Scott said. “I didn’t really enjoy school, being dyslexic, and having to balance it with swimming. The first and second years at university, I did find challenging, but by the third, I really started to enjoy it. 

“I might decide after the next Olympic cycle that I want to come back and do a Masters, I’m not ruling that out. For the next cycle up until 2024, I want to focus on swimming and becoming the best athlete that I can be. But beyond that, I might fall back on my degree and do a Masters. I’ve enjoyed sport governance, sports management and marketing and international business.”

For now, Scott’s attention is firmly on the final preparations to make a splash in Tokyo, where he’ll compete in relay and individual events. He admits the anticipation around the competition has brought some nerves but believes he can make his mark in Japan.

“The run up to the Olympics is a lot different to any other international meet for swimming because the hype around it is just so vast, which is really exciting,” he said. “When you visualise and think about the actual races, you get butterflies, but it’s more excitement about what could happen and what you’re wanting to achieve.

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“Fortunately, I’m a part of some really successful relay teams –  we came second in the 4×1 Medley in Rio, we were world champions in 2019, so we want to try and be head to head with the Americans and Russians. We’ve got a great opportunity in the Men’s 4×2 and in the Men’s 4×1 – we’ve got a really young team so the potential is really high.

“For me, the two individuals I’ll be looking to do are the 200m Freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley. The 200m Free is always really tight. In 2019, it was my first individual medal, getting bronze. I didn’t really enjoy the way I swam the race then and, since then, I’ve swum it a lot better so I think I have to go in there with a lot of confidence. The 200m IM is not one I’ve swum much internationally, but I’ve improved a lot on it and, again, it’s one I’ve got nothing to lose on.”


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