The Athens Olympic Games was the pinnacle of a long but frustrating international athletics career for Kelly Holmes. Her Double Olympic Gold triumph changed her life forever and fulfilled her second childhood dream of becoming an Olympic Champion.
Her first dream was joining the British Army which she realised at the age of 17; she was later recognised for her services to the Military when she received her MBE after 9 years' service. Kelly turned her back on athletics to forge a successful career and become a PTI in the British Army. However, she was inspired to return to the track in 1992, watching the Barcelona Olympic Games from her barracks room on camp, when she was surprised to see a former junior rival line up in the women's 1500m.
The build-up to the Athens Olympic Games was the first year in seven, that Kelly wasn't injured and she made the brave decision to double up in the 800m and 1500m, and the rest is history. She finished her illustrious career with 12 major championship medals from the Olympics, Worlds, Commonwealth Games and Europeans. She ranks one of the proudest moments of her life as receiving her Damehood from the Queen in March 2005.
Since retiring from international athletics, Kelly has started a new chapter in her life in the business world; establishing her own company Double Gold and her charity the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust. She has also been active in raising the profile of school sport up the political agenda. Kelly became National School Sport Champion in 2006 for three years and pioneered the creation of National School Sport Week. She also led the creation of Girls Active set up with the Youth Sports Trust to capture the interest of disengaged female teenagers.
Kelly fulfilled a personal ambition when she set up the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust in 2008, to create life chances for young people. The charity has successfully delivered programmes for hundreds of disengaged young people not in education, training or unemployment and given them a life changing experience.
She now has a number of ambassadorial positions for TeamGB, London 2012 sponsor BT, the Jaguar Academy of Sport alongside the honour of being President of Commonwealth Games England. She also fulfils speaking engagements to the corporate industry sharing her stories of overcoming adversity, setbacks and desperation to finally achieve her lifelong dreams. In her limited spare time, Kelly devotes time to supporting her chosen charities the Laureus Sports Foundation, Hospice in the Weald and Sport Relief, alongside her own charity.
She has driven the development of Double Gold Enterprises to develop the Kelly Holmes brand to market products, services and experiences to inspire what she is so passionate about; the pursuit of health, fitness, well-being and achievement in sport. Her personal and business goals continue to evolve and her vision and energy has no bounds.