Dame Kelly is a much admired former athlete. She specialised in the 800 metres and 1500 metres events, and in a truly memorable sporting year she took gold for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Kelly has set British records in numerous events and still holds the records over the 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 metres distances.
Holmes began competing in middle distance events in her youth. She joined the British Army but continued to compete at the organisation’s athletics events. She turned to the professional athletics circuit in the early 1990s and in 1994 she won the 1500 m at the Commonwealth Games and took silver at the European Championships.
Holmes won the 1500 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 800 m bronze at the Munich European Championships that year. The 2003 track season saw her take silver in the 1500 m at the World Indoor Championships and the 800 m silver medals at the World Championships and first World Athletics Final.
In 2004, Kelly had a remarkable year. She took part in her final major championship and turned in a double gold medal-winning performance at the Athens Olympics, finishing as the 800 m and 1500 m Olympic Champion. For her achievements she won numerous awards and was appointed a dame by HM The Queen in 2005. Also in that year she won the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year.
Other Work and Recognition
In 2008, Holmes created the DKH Legacy Trust to support young athletes and help the lives of young people across the UK.
Holmes was named as the new president of Commonwealth Games England in 2009, succeeding Sir Chris Chataway.
In 2010, Kelly was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame.
Dame Kelly Holmes is not only known for her medals and records, but also for her gutsy, committed approach to life and work. As one of the most respected figures in athletics, she is in demand as an after dinner speaker for her athletic anecdotes and memories.