Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes is a British icon and inspiration. After joining the army at seventeen, she cemented her place in history as the first women ever in Great Britain to win two gold medals at the same games at the Athens Olympics.


A double Olympic gold medallist, Kelly Holmes became only the second woman in history to claim the 800m and 1500m titles in the same Games. She has since gone on to be a mental health advocate, broadcaster and award-winning writer. Over the course of her career Kelly amassed seven Gold, eight Silver and four Bronze medals at Olympic, Commonwealth and European levels. She earned the nation’s admiration with her remarkable achievement in 2004 in Athens, the first British athlete in over 80 years to win a double-gold on the track and which also saw her named BBC Sports Personality of the Year and European Athlete of the Year.

Despite achieving incredible things in her sport, privately Kelly suffered from serious mental health problems. Her frequent physical injuries also had a psychological effect culminating in a breakdown in the run up to the World Championships before her Olympic triumph. It was after retirement that she opened up, one of the first public figures to do so, about her battle with depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. In an emotional and powerful documentary called Kelly Holmes: Being Me, she came out publicly as a gay woman, reflecting on how she finally feels free to be her authentic self. 

Alongside a personal look at mental health, Kelly also looks at what individuals and organisations need to do to help themselves and each other. She also looks at the ups and downs of her career on and off the track, and with humour and insight considers what it takes to achieve your goals. Drawing on her time with the Army as well as her athletics career she looks at effective team building, planning and preparation.

Kelly has been awarded with both an MBE and a Damehood. She has founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to support both retired athletes and disadvantaged young people. She is the author of a number of books, including Black, White & Gold and Just Go For It!: 6 simple steps to achieve success, and Running Life: Mindset, fitness & nutrition for positive wellbeing, the latter being named a Telegraph Sports Book of the year.





JLA Speakers Breakfast

Dame Kelly Holmes interview

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Agent Recommendation

Though she's only five foot two Kelly's infectious laugh, her bright personality (and her love of the group selfie) could fill a room twice over. The lightness of her storytelling makes you have to remind yourself that she suffered set back after set back before winning her two gold medals. It's her strength in the face of failure that makes Kelly so empowering. You won't just feel a sense of awe, you'll want her to be your best friend too.  

JLA Agent Ella O'Kane
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Book written by Dame Kelly Holmes
Book written by Dame Kelly Holmes
Book written by Dame Kelly Holmes


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