Sporting Hero – Dame Kelly Holmes


A sporting hero is usually someone that people look up to because they aspire to be like them, someone that has achieved something they would also like to achieve.  This is true for me but in a slightly different way.  In my case Dame Kelly is motivation, this is why.

Kelly was born 19th April 1970, she started training for athletics at the age of 12 when she joined Tonbridge Athletics Club, she was inspired by Sebastian Coe and began competing in middle distance events, specialising in 800m and 1500m.

At the age of 18 Kelly turned her back on athletics to join the British army having left school two years earlier.   Kelly continued to compete in the organisations athletics events, on one occasion she competed in the men’s 800m event, as it was considered that for her to run in the women’s event would be too embarrassing for the other competitors.

Kelly watched the 1992 summer Olympics on TV, seeing Lisa York in the heats for the 3000m – an athlete Kelly had competed against and beaten.  It was at this point Kelly decided to return to athletics.

Kelly won gold in the 1500m at the commonwealth games in 1994, and took silver in the European championships in the same year.  In 1995 she won silver and bronze at the Gothenburg world championships but was then to suffer various injuries over the following two years, resulting in her failing to gain a medal at her first Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.

It wasn’t until Sydney 2000 that Kelly managed to win an Olympic medal, bronze in the 800m.  It was then in 2004 that Kelly turned in a double gold medal winning performance at the Athens Olympics in the 800m and 1500m, by this point it must be remembered Kelly was now aged 34.

Since 2004 Kelly has won many awards for her achievements and was appointed a dame by the Queen in 2005, it was in this same year that Kelly chose to retire from athletics.

For someone like me, who still hopes one day I too will have the determination and commitment it takes to achieve something in the world of athletics, Kelly offers hope.  If Kelly can win Olympic gold, twice, at the age of 34 then why can’t anyone else? 

That gives me loads of time, 14 years to be precise!

By Lyndsey Dodsworth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: