Etienne, a 31-year-old psychology student at the OU, got Team GB’s third gold medal of the day on 2 August 2012 in a thrilling race at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.
His achievements now take the Team GB medal tally to 13 and place the team fifth in the rankings.
Etienne, who went to school near Bedford, told BBC 3 Counties Radio that winning the gold was “a dream”. He told the local radio station: “We did feel the pressure but for me I thought we needed something to go right today. There is nothing taken for granted in this sport and getting to the final was amazing."
The pair’s win followed two days without medals for Team GB in the individual races at the canoe slalom, which takes place at the Hertfordshire course.
Newspaper Bedford Times & Citizen reported scenes of joy from the men at their victory, as they jumped in the water to celebrate.
The Open University has a number of high achieving sports people currently studying, with professional footballers, power lifters and cross country skiers among its undergraduates. A new sport-themed qualification has also launched this year, the BSc (Hons) Sports, Fitness & Coaching, which expands the existing Foundation Degree in Sport & Fitness to full honours.
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Photo by: Paul Ramsdale