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Kelly Holmes

London, UK

Double Olympic gold medal winner (Athens 2004)

BBC Sports Personality of the Year (2004)

President of Commonwealth Games England

Dame Kelly Holmes is a retired middle distance runner who made history at the Athens Olympics by winning gold medals in both the 1500m and 800m races.

Kelly joined the British Army at the age of 18, having left school two years earlier, working initially as a nursing assistant.

In 1997, after nine and a half years, she left the army and made athletics her focus and career. She won gold at the Commonwealth Games twice, the final time in Manchester 2002. Kelly has competed successfully in all major international athletics competitions, winning silver and bronze medals at the European and World Championships.

Kelly 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 and made Dame Kelly Holmes. She retired from competition in 2005.

Our Comment

"Kelly’s journey from the British Army to Olympic gold medallist is an inspiring story of motivation, hard work and courage. Her ability to stay focused and overcome injury led her to the highest success an athlete can achieve."

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