Home > Categories > Sports > Athletics > Dame Kelly Holmes's Biography

Dame Kelly Holmes's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z

Kelly Holmes made history at the Athens Olympics by winning both the 1500m and 800m gold.

Kelly was born on April 19 1970 in Pembury, Kent, the daughter of Constantine and Pamela Holmes.

In May 2005 Kelly Holmes revealed that a year before her double Olympic gold, in despair over her injuries, she engaged in self-harm, cutting herself with a pair of scissors.

Her non-sporting career includes spells as a recreation assistant, a nursing assistant and an army sergeant (physical training instructor).

According to The Guardian:

"Holmes emerged at a time when there was no lottery to fund a full-time athletics career. At 18 she joined the army's Women's Royal Auxiliary Corp, initially driving four-tonne trucks. She never gave up her interest in sport, however, and retrained as a PT instructor in the Adjutants General Corps. Despite the demands of her career. She became army judo champion, ran in the men's 1500m at the army athletics championships rather than embarrass the women, and in one meeting ran the 800m, the 3,000m and a relay leg in one day, winning all her races."

During the BBC coverage when Kelly Holmes won her second gold, Brendan Foster said something like "surely we're going to have to call her Dame Kelly Holmes from now on" - to which Steve Cram replied: "Dame, Duchess, Queen, whatever you like"

Kelly Holmes did officially become a Dame and she was also voted Sports Personality of the Year.

Kelly Holmes is the first Briton for 84 years to achieve the Olympic middle-distance double.

In December 2005 Dame Kelly Holmes announced her retirement from athletics. Although Kelly had been named in England's team for the Commonwealth Games she felt the time had come to retire, saying:

"I actually knew in my heart and mind that it was the right choice and now I feel I can relax and be myself."

In January 2006 Kelly Holmes entered Dancing on Ice.


Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: