University News

Alums compete at London Olympics games

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, September 7, 2012

Craig Kinsley ’11 competed on the U.S. national team for javelin throwing at the London 2012 Olympic games.

Two alums competed on the world stage this summer, representing their home countries in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Craig Kinsley ’11, a former javelin thrower and volunteer coach on the Brown men’s track and field team, and Nikola Stojic ’97, who rowed men’s crew for Bruno, represented the United States and Serbia, respectively.

Stojic also competed in the past three Summer Olympic games, starting with the 2000 Sydney games and continuing through the 2004 Athens games and 2008 Beijing games. This summer in London, he competed in the men’s pair event, placing fourth in the heats before going on to place sixth in both the semifinal and final rounds of the competition. 

Stojic competed at a high level even as a Bear, helping Bruno secure a national championship in 1995, wrote Paul Cooke, head coach of the men’s crew team, in an email to The Herald in June.

“Nikola was an impressive oarsman and very successful during his time at Brown,” Cooke wrote. “He was very powerful and an aggressive racer.” 

A first-time Olympian, Kinsley entered the London games without ever having participated in an international competition, making his spot on the U.S. national team even more impressive, according to Michelle Eisenreich, director of the University’s track and field program.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment just to get there,” Eisenreich said. “He really embraced the Olympic spirit while he was over there.”

Kinsley failed to advance past the first round of qualifications for men’s javelin throwing, earning a ranking of 23rd out of the 44 athletes in the initial qualifying round. But he was the top finisher for the U.S. team, had the fourth best throw of his career and improved his international ranking by seven spots.

“There was never any doubt in his mind or my mind that he was going to continue training after college,” Eisenreich said. “He shows that student-athletes at Brown can succeed at the highest levels of their sport.” 

While in London, Kinsley also joined other Olympic athletes in volunteer work around the city, Eisenreich said, adding that he represented his family, country and the University “extraordinarily well.”

“He has a lot to be proud of,” Eisenreich said. “For the five years he was here at Brown – four as a student and one as a volunteer coach – in everything he did, he did it with class.”

Though the two athletes did not clinch any medals, competing at a global level of competition is an incredible accomplishment in itself, said Jack Hayes, director of athletics.

“For us to have Brown graduates competing in their sport at the international level at the Olympics and to be among the best in the world reflects extremely positively on our athletic program,” Hayes said. “We always want to see individuals who aspire to compete at the highest level fulfill their goals and their dreams.”

Kinsley could not be reached for comment because he left for a hiking trip through northern New England upon his return to the United States, according to his mother, Andrea Kinsley P’11. She said the experience of watching her son compete on the world stage was gratifying, especially because the Olympics were his first international competition.

“It was an unbelievable experience watching him pursue this dream over the past number of years,” Andrea Kinsley said, adding that she felt London’s management of the Olympics was superb. “The tremendous outpouring of support from friends and family and from the Brown University community was overwhelming.”

According to his mother, Kinsley will attend an honorary reception for all U.S. Olympians on Sept. 14 at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, a fitting welcome back after a summer of sports in the spotlight.

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