Katherine Grainger CBE
With Olympic gold at London 2012 to add to her silver medals from Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004, and Beijing in 2008, as well as six world championships titles in her collection, Katherine Grainger is Britain’s most successful female rower.
She became Britain’s first lady of rowing when she took the gold medal with Anna Watkins in the women’s double sculls in August 2012.
In 2006 she was awarded the MBE for services to rowing, and her Olympic achievements make her the first female British athlete – in any sport – to gain medals in four consecutive Olympic Games.
Katherine was born in Glasgow but now lives near the Thames, allowing her to operate as a member of the GB Rowing squad. But she goes home to Scotland whenever possible to see her family.
She attended Edinburgh University, studying Law, then went on to achieve an MPhil in Medical Law and Medical Ethics from Glasgow University. She is now studying Homicide for a PhD at King’s College, University of London.
When Katherine took up rowing at University in 1993 she made such good progress and was awarded the Eva Bailey Trophy as their most outstanding female athlete in 1996 and 1997.
She is the Honorary President of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association and is a member of Edinburgh Rowing Club, St Andrew Boat Club and Marlow Rowing Club. She is also an honorary life member of Aberdeen Boat Club.
In 2009, Katherine was named as Scottish Sportsperson of the Year and awarded the ‘Emirates Lonsdale Trophy’ by Commonwealth Games Scotland, the first female to win this prestigious award pipping Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy.
In 2010 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and in 2011 received an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University.
In 2012 she was chosen as one of the five athlete ambassadors for promoting the key messages of Team GB – the 2012 Olympic Team. She received the CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours List.
Katherine is an impressive and accomplished speaker. She has an exciting story to tell and she tells it well in an inspirational and authoritative way, excelling when talking about teamwork, overcoming challenges, motivation, winning and the importance of communication.
"I would like to thank you once again for addressing our members and guests in Brussels on Monday (...) Looking around the room at all the smiling, captivated faces and listening to the many questions from the audience, which could have gone on the rest of the evening, I have no doubt that everyone found you to be not only a great champion but also a wonderful human being, truly compelling."
Christian Verschueren, General Director, EuroCommerce
"Katherine gave an entertaining, inspiring and insightful presentation to our conference. She is an accomplished presenter and good conversationalist and we received very positive feedback from our guests. It was generous of Katherine to pass her Olympic Gold medal around the audience and she was very happy to stay on after her presentation to talk to our clients and have pictures taken with them. She is easy to work with and I would not hesitate in recommending her."
Simon Hildrey, Head of Marketing and Communications at Liontrust
"I never thought I'd see a room full of hundreds of hardened conference attendees so near to tears - which I did when Katherine Grainger talked fluently and inspiringly about the choices and decisions she made on the way to that incredible gold at the London Olympics."
Jane Frost, Chief Executive, Market Research Society