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Katherine Grainger Olympic Gold Medalist

Dame Katherine Grainger DBE

speaker location icon Maidenhead, UK

Britain’s most successful female rower

London 2012 Olympics Gold medalist

Three time Olympic Silver medalist (2000, 2004, 2008)

Dr. Katherine Grainger DBE is a British rower and a 2012 Olympic Gold medallist. At the London Olympics 2012, Katherine and Anna Watkins won the gold medal at double sculls after breaking the Olympic record at the semi-final. Her Olympic achievements make her the first female British athlete – in any sport – to gain medals in four consecutive Olympic Games.

She is also a three time Olympic Silver medalist, and has won eight medals at World Championships between 1997 and 2012, including the Rowing World Cup in the Double Sculls over the past three years. Katherine first won Silver at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 in the woman’s quadruple sculls and won Silver again when she took part in the coxless pairs with Cath Bishop. She returned to the quadruple sculls in Beijing 2008 when she won her third Silver, narrowly losing to China after taking the lead for some of the race.

Katherine is also one of the few Olympians combining a successful career in sports with academic studies. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University, a MPhil in Medical Law and Ethics from Glasgow University, and a PhD in Law from King’s College London. She has remarked “Without planning it both my Olympic career and my PhD have met at the same time and the culmination for both is 2012 – not by design.” Whilst finishing off her PhD, Katherine also authored her autobiography, titled “Dreams Do Come True” (Andre Deutsch, 2013).

More recently Katherine was appointed a Champion of the Galsgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games. She is a keen advocate for young people and women in sports.

Our Comment

"Katherine suffered the agony of being pushed into Silver medal position in three consecutive Olympics, but she conquered her demons to win a spectacular victory in front of her home crowd in 2012. A true inspiration to all, Katherine is a class act both in and out of the water and a figurehead for women’s rowing worldwide."

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