Double Olympic Champion Col. Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil) is one of the UK’s most popular athletes, respected throughout the world as a role model and an inspiration. Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes is a role model and an inspiration.
She joined the British Army at 17, serving for over 10 years as a qualified HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor. In 1988 she was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the armed forces.
During a 12 year international career, Kelly won medals at Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic level, culminating in two Gold Medals at Athens Olympics in 2004 for the 800m and 1500m which cemented her place in history as the first women ever in Great Britain to win two gold medals at the same games. She was honoured with a Damehood in 2005 for services to sport.
Today Kelly is a Global Inspirational Speaker, an award-winning author, an entrepreneur as well as a fitness, wellness, and mental health champion. Kelly is passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Her own experience led her to learn more and to help others. A trained Mental Health First Aider she continues to be President of the charity she founded in 2008, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – a charity which supports disadvantaged young people using the unique skills of world-class athletes to engage, enable and empower for which she won a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017.
In 2018 she was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment. Dame Kelly became the first person to be attached to a regular regiment as an Honorary Colonel which was signed off by the Queen.
In 2020 Kelly was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of York to add to 12 others she has received since retiring.