Scholar heads to Winter Olympics

  • January 20, 2022
Scholar heads to Winter Olympics

Peter Manasantivongs is heading to Beijing where he will coach Australia's mixed doubles curling team.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar is heading for Beijing where he will coach the Australian mixed doubles curling team in the Winter Olympics.

The Australian Olympic Committee announced their selection of Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt for the mixed doubles curling event at the Winter Olympics over the weekend, and Pete Manasantivongs as their coach.

The team will be in Beijing next week where the mixed doubles curling event begins on 2nd February, two days before the Opening Ceremony.  Manasantivongs has been coach of the Australian national mixed doubles curling team since 2018. The curling team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in the country’s history at a last-chance tournament in the Netherlands in early December.

Manasantivongs [2001], who did his PhD in Linguistics, is a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Business School, where he has held a number of roles since 2012 including Academic Director of the MBusA program and Director of the Full-Time MBA programme. He has also held the position of Director of Global Engagement, where he managed relationships and international exchange programs with peer business schools around the world.

Manasantivongs was one of the first intake of Gates Cambridge Scholars in 2001 and played a role in shaping what it has become. So significant was the impact of Gates Cambridge on him that he has been involved in setting up events for alumni in Australia as a way of giving back to the Gates Cambridge community and Trust. He says: “I want them to have the experience I had at Cambridge and to give back to something that was so meaningful to me. Being part of the inaugural intake was important. We feel like we are the stewards of the programme, the wise elders or grandparents. We have a deep emotional investment in a programme which has so positively influenced us.”

*Photo from left to right: co-coach John Morris, athletes Dean Hewitt and Tahli Gill, Pete Manasantivongs. Photo credit: Steve Seixeiro at the World Curling Federation.

**If there are any other Gates Scholars — or Cambridge alumni in general who will be at the Olympics as an athlete, coach or official, Manasantivongs says he is keen to make contact. You can do so via mandy.garner@admin.cam.ac.uk.

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