Olympic Brownlee brothers graduate again with honorary degrees

Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee who were awarded Honorary Doctorate of Laws at The University of Leeds. 'Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee who were awarded Honorary Doctorate of Laws at The University of Leeds. 'Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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Leeds’ Olympic triathlon heroes, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, were awarded with honorary degrees by the Leeds University yesterday.

The brothers both received Doctorate of Laws in a ceremony honouring those who have excelled in their specialist field.

Alistair, 25, who graduated from the university in 2010 with a BA in sports and exercise science, won gold for triathlon at the 2012 Olympics and is only athlete to win the world championship at junior, under-23 and senior level.

He said he was “delighted” to receive the honorary degree. “Obviously being born and bred in Leeds, it’s a fantastic honour, and especially as I missed my graduation ceremony the first time round because of all my sporting commitments,” he said.

Jonathan, 23, who graduated last year with a BA in history, won Olympic bronze and recently became Triathlon World Champion. He said: “I’m also very honoured and proud, having studied here for four years, and I’m grateful to Leeds for enabling me to pursue my sport, including allowing me to split my final year into two years so I could do all of my training.”

Other honorary degree recipients yesterday were Professor Susan Solomon, who led National Ozone Expeditions to Antarctica in 1986 and 1987, entrepreneur Linda Pollard, who is currently chairwoman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and journalist and writer Martin Wainwright.