Dame Kelly Holmes is British Double Gold Duathlon Olympian

May 2, 2008

Kelly Holmes made history at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics by winning both the 1500m and 800m gold. She is one of Britains most admired and recognizable athletes. Read her biography and see her photos and video below.

Kelly Holmes was the first and still is the only British woman to win double gold medals in the Olympics. She became a national celebrity in 2004 when she won gold at the Athens Olympics in both the 800m and the 1500m. She is only the third woman in history to win gold in both those events. She set a new British record for distance running the 1500m final in 3 minutes and 57.90 seconds.

Dame Kelly Holmes born on April 19, 1970 in Pembury, Kent, United Kingdom. Dame Holmes’ father was a Jamaican car mechanic. Her mother, Pam Norman, was an Englishwoman and 17-years-old when Kelly was born. When Kelly was two her mother married Michael Norris, a painter and decorator and the man that Kelly considers her father. She has four half-siblings.

Kelly Holmes grew up in Hildenborough and attended Hugh Christie Comprehensive School in Tonbridge. She started her athletic training when she was 12-years-old at the Tonbridge Athletics Club. At that time there was no funding for athletes and she gave up her athletic aspirations for a career in the Army. She joined the Army shortly before her 18th birthday and worked her way to the rank of Sergeant. She stayed in the Army until 1997 when increased funding became available and she could become a full time athlete.

In 1998 she was awarded the MBE for her service to the British Army. In 2005, she was anointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was presented with her Damehood in the 2005 New Years honors by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on March 9, 2005.

Since she has retired from athletics, Dame Kelly Holmes spends a great deal of her time working with young girls encouraging them to take up athletics and to be more active. She has started and been actively involved in several initiatives to encourage sports, including her role as National School Sport Champion, Believe to Achieve with Kelly, On Camp with Kelly and more.

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