University of Nottingham - logo
Periodic Table of Nottingham


Nottingham element: Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington OBE is a British former competitive swimmer from Mansfield who specialised in freestyle events in international competition. She won two gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 400-metre freestyle and 800-metre freestyle, breaking the world record in the 800-metre final.

Adlington was Britain's first Olympic swimming champion since 1988, and the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals since 1908. She won bronze medals in both the women's 400-metre and 800-metre freestyle events in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Since retiring as a competitor, she has worked for BBC TV as a swimming pundit at the Olympic Games and World Aquatics Championships, and made various other media appearances.

The Sherwood Swimming Baths in Mansfield, where she began swimming as a child, was renamed the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre when it reopened after refurbishment in January 2010.

Scientific element: Rhenium

Mendeleev predicted an element with rhenium's characteristics when he designed his periodic table.

The credit for rhenium's discovery is typically awarded to Walter Noddack, Ida Tacke Noddack, and Otto Berg in 1925.

The trio named the element after the Rhine River in Germany.

Watch and learn

Explore more elements