VU is not only where elite athlete Liam Adams gained a Bachelor of Exercise Science, it’s also where he spent much of his time preparing for the Olympics at Rio in 2016.


Olympic athlete Liam Adams trains at VU.


Qualifications: Bachelor of Exercise Science 2016

Job: Olympics marathon runner, apprentice electrician

Early career and VU support

Liam started playing sport in primary school and jumped at every opportunity to represent his school at events. His primary-school teacher soon noticed his talent and recommended that he try out for the cross country team. Liam made it all the way to the state championships in his first year.

At VU, Liam was part of the Elite Athlete Program, which provided him with support to balance sport commitments and university study.

VU also provided scholarships for Liam to participate in international events, such as World University Games and World University Cross Country Championships. He won silver at the 2008 World University Cross Country Championships in France. Two years later he won silver at the 2010 10K World University Cross Country Championships in Canada.

Liam is VU’s most decorated athlete. He has twice been named VU’s Male Athlete of the Year (in 2008 and 2010), and in those same years he won the prestigious Australian University Sport (AUS) Male Athlete of the Year. He was also awarded the inaugural VU Outstanding Student Alumni Award in 2011. This Award recognised not only his outstanding performance and commitment to sport, but also his leadership, integrity and inspiration to fellow students.

Liam has worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get to where he is. He had to overcome several injuries and persevere at competitions around the world to qualify for the Olympics. He also has to balance training and his work as an apprentice electrician, leaving very little time for any social life.

Liam believes that his course has helped him to better understand his physiology for competitions, and is determined to apply his qualification in future occupations.

The heat chamber and Liam's Olympic journey

As a self-funded athlete, Liam’s biggest supporter has been VU, throughout his professional running career.

“The support I get from VU using these heat chambers could be the difference between a minute or two over the marathon. It could be the difference in the end.”

Representing Australia at the Olympics has been the biggest goal in Liam’s running career. VU provided an environment and facilities to prepare him for Rio 2016. The temperature and the humidity of the heat chamber was set at Rio’s extreme to get a good gauge of what he was capable of achieving there.

Liam’s advice to current students at VU is:

“Apply yourself and try and use the facilities to your advantage, and gain knowledge to use towards your passion.”

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