Double Olympic Gold Winner, Athlete & Motivator
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Col Dame Kelly Holmes (MBE mil) is one of Britain’s most recognizable and admired athletes. She has won Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European medals, and added the ultimate sporting trophy to her cabinet at the Athens Olympic Games – Double Olympic Gold.
Kelly, however is not only known for her medals and records, but also for her gutsy, committed approach to athletics and her ability to overcome injury and illness in order to still stay at the top of her discipline. Her strength and courage has won her many fans both within the sport and outside of it.
She started her athletics career as a promising athlete as a junior and won the 1,500m at the English Schools Championships, but chose to give up her early athletics career in favour of a career in the army. She signed up a few months before her 18th Birthday and over the next 9 years worked her way quickly up the ranks until she was a Sergeant. She joined with the aim of making the rank of Officer, but once she started to run again, initially for the forces, and started to win major titles she faced a really tough decision – army or running?
In 1997 she took a massive step and left the army, making athletics her focus and career. Her desire to be the best demands that she gives 100%, something she does in everything she takes on. She has the fundamental element for success – the ability to be focused. She was awarded the MBE in 1998 for services to the British Army and was honoured by the Queen in the 2005 New Year’s honours with a Damehood.
Kelly won Olympic Gold in the 800m and 1500m races at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, becoming the first woman ever and the first Briton in over 80 years to do so.
Kelly retired from competition in the autumn of 2005 but remains heavily involved in the sport. Among her many activities Kelly has also written her autobiography, ‘Black, White & Gold’, appeared in the Celebrity TV Series ‘Dancing on Ice’, and has been appointed by the government as the first National School Sport Champion. She founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in 2008 with a vision to get young lives back on track using the unique skills of world class athletes to engage, enable and empower young people.
In 2018 she was appointed Honorary Colonel of The Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment, becoming the first person to ever be attached to a regular unit which was signed off by the Queen.
In 2019 Kelly released a new book called Running Life: Mindset, Fitness & Nutrition for Positive Wellbeing – an inspirational and attainable guide to how mindfulness, exercise and diet interlink to transform your overall wellbeing. It was awarded Sports Health and Fitness Book of the Year at The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2019.
Kelly speaks passionately on employee wellbeing and mental health, motivation, inspiration, sports, entrepreneurship and diversity & inclusion.
"You really inspired and motivated the delegates to achieve their life goals, through an interactive and fun session. Your style made for a stunning presentation which engaged the audience 100%." Jane Underwood, Shell