Astrophysicist Powell gunning for gold
A MEDAL is the aim for former Oxted School student Stacie Powell after she was selected for the Great Britain diving squad for London 2012.
The London Games will be the second Olympics for 26-year-old Powell, who also competed at Beijing in 2008.
Powell finished eighth in the 10m synchro and tenth in the 10m platform in 2008, but just focusing on the platform this summer, the diver believes she has hit form at the perfect time.
"I found out I was selected for the London Games on Monday afternoon," Powell explained. "I was quite hopeful after I'd won my event in the Olympic trials at the weekend with a personal best that was also a British record.
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"I knew I'd done the best I could. I feel like I'm picking up my form at the right time, keeping the momentum going."
And Powell, who attended Oxted School from Year Seven to Sixth Form, believes the support of the home crowd will help her achieve her goal.
"Having the home crowd behind me, cheering me on, is going to make a big difference and I think I have as good a chance as anyone," she said. "I hope to get a medal this summer. I was told my score last weekend was good enough for fourth or fifth at the last Olympics, so with that extra push of the crowd behind me I'm hopeful."
As if being a double Olympian wasn't impressive enough, Powell also credits Oxted School with giving her the educational base from which to become an astrophysicist.
"Oxted gave me a great start. I have fond memories of the school," Powell added.
From Oxted, Powell went on to study at Imperial College London, before switching to Southampton University to be closer to her diving club. From there Powell went on to study her Masters degree at the prestigious American university Harvard, and is currently doing her PhD at Cambridge.
And Powell admits she may think through the physics of diving differently to other divers.
"I can understand Newton's Law and the mathematics behind physics. The laws of gravity and the biomechanics of what I'm doing," Powell explained.