Dame Kelly Holmes

Explore the remarkable story of Dame Kelly Holmes, a British icon, Olympic gold medalist, and influential global speaker. Her journey from the army to athletics and advocacy has left a lasting impact.

The Early Years of Dame Kelly Holmes

Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes‘ journey is a tale of relentless determination and extraordinary achievement. Joining the British Army at the young age of 17, she embarked on a decade-long service. Not just an ordinary soldier, Kelly qualified as an HGV driver and Physical Training Instructor. Her remarkable contribution to the armed forces was recognized in 1998 when she was awarded an MBE, marking the beginning of her decorated career.

Athletic Prowess and Olympic Glory

Dame Kelly Holmes’ athletic career is nothing short of legendary. Spanning 12 years on the international stage, she captured the world’s attention and admiration. Her crowning achievement came at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, where she won gold in both the 800m and 1500m events. This historic feat made her the first British woman to secure two gold medals at the same Olympic Games, etching her name in the annals of sports history.

Transition to Global Inspiration

Post-retirement, Dame Kelly Holmes took on a new role as a Global Inspirational Speaker, sharing her experiences and insights with audiences worldwide. Her endeavors extend beyond speaking engagements; she is an award-winning author and a passionate advocate for fitness, wellness, and mental health. Her influence in these areas continues to grow, inspiring countless individuals.

Championing Causes and Philanthropy

In 2008, Kelly established the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting disadvantaged young people. Utilizing the skills of world-class athletes, the charity engages, enables, and empowers youths, earning Kelly a Beacon award for philanthropy in 2017. Her commitment to social causes is unwavering, reflecting her dedication to making a positive impact.

Honorary Roles and Recognition

Dame Kelly Holmes’ contributions have been acknowledged through various honorary roles and accolades. In 2018, she was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment, a testament to her military background and leadership qualities. Moreover, her academic contributions have been recognized with an honorary doctorate from the University of York, adding to her extensive collection of honorary degrees.

Personal Journey and Advocacy

In June 2022, Dame Kelly Holmes publicly came out as a gay woman in the powerful documentary “Kelly Holmes: Being Me.” This emotional revelation marked a significant personal milestone for her, as she embraced her authentic self after years of fear. Her courage in sharing her story has made her a prominent voice in educating and informing on diversity and inclusion matters, further solidifying her role as a public figure and advocate.

Book Dame Kelly Holmes For Your Next Event!

Dame Kelly Holmes’ life story is a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating resilience, excellence, and a commitment to making a difference. From her Olympic triumphs to her advocacy for mental health and diversity, her legacy continues to influence and inspire. For more information or to book Dame Kelly Holmes for your next event, please visit our contact page.

What people say about Dame Kelly Holmes

“Kelly did a fabulous job in delivering to the brief that she was set. She is so natural, and nice, that the messages she delivers (in her own style) really strike home and her frankness about her own personal journey added to this. The whole site was absolutely buzzing about Kelly’s visit. I have had dozens of emails and personal messages commenting on how wonderful Kelly’s presentation was, and her willingness to engage with people on site. There was one word that has popped up over and over again… Inspirational. The whole site feels privileged to have met Kelly and heard about her journey (and to have seen her medals!).”

“Not only inspirational, but without any doubt the best after dinner speaker we have had in 16 years. Engaging, passionate and warm, she patiently posed with a beaming smile and unerring enthusiasm as the 420 audience queued up to take a photograph with her. Grown men were reduced to jelly.”

“Having Dame Kelly at our event definitely added some magic and excitement. Everyone loved seeing her there and it was just brilliant that she ran with the children in the 2.5km, then again as part of the 10km. She spoke to so many people, had lots of photos taken and made a massive impact on the day. A huge thank you to Kelly for her support, it was just wonderful.”

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  • Dame Kelly’s Career: Motivational and Inspirational Keynote
  • Mental Health in the Workplace
  • Dame Kelly’s Personal Experiences with Her Mental Health
  • Diversity & Inclusion