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Middle-distance runner who recovered from injury to claim double Olympic gold at the age of 34.

Fighting spirit

Although she showed early promise as a runner, Kelly Holmes gave up the sport to join the army at the age of 18 and become British army judo champion. She returned to competitive athletics after watching the 1992 Barcelona Games on television.

Injury problems

Holmes' career was plagued by injuries. Barely recovered from a stress fracture, she placed only fourth in the 800m at the 1996 Atlanta Games. In 2000, a ruptured calf left her only six weeks to train for the Sydney Games. Still, she managed to win a bronze medal in the 800m and placed seventh in the 1,500m.

The perfect year

She arrived at the 2004 Athens Games in perfect shape. In the 800m final, Holmes moved past defending champion Maria Mutola and held off her other rivals. The finish was so close that Holmes didn’t know she’d won – she did so by five hundredths of a second. Five nights later, in the final of the 1,500m, Holmes burst into the lead around the final turn and earned her second gold.

An athletics hero

At 34, she was the oldest woman to win either the 800m or the 1,500m, let alone both of them. Kelly Holmes continues to represent Great Britain’s sporting legacy abroad and campaigns for children’s sport.




Holmes hits the jackpot in Athens

Great Britain’s Kelly Holmes reflects on her golden double in the 800m and 1,500m at Athens 2004.


Opening Ceremony - the cauldron is lit

London 2012 - the climax of the Opening Ceremony as the cauldron is lit. Watch highlights including British Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave passing on the flame to a group of young hopefuls, before they light the cauldron.
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Dame Kelly Holmes and Duncan Goodhew watch Team GB's arrival at the Olympic Village

London 2012 - London 2012 - British Olympians Dame Kelly Holmes and Duncan Goodhew watch members of Team GB arriving at the Olympic Village
IOC/Jason Evans
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GBR BOA Olympic Parade in London

LONDON ? OCTOBER 18: Athlete Kelly Holmes shows her two gold medals to the crowd as members of the British Olympic and Paralympic athletes are congratulated by well wishers on October 18 2004, on route in central London, England. The Parade of Heroes features the Olympic and Paralympic medalists who returned home from the Athens Olympic games 2004 with 30 medals, nine of them being gold. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kelly Holmes
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Kelly Holmes Feted On Arrival In Tonbridge

TONBRIDGE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 1: Great Britain double gold medal winner Kelly Holmes is greeted by the townsfolk, September 1, 2004 of her native Tonbridge in Kent. Holmes won both the 800 and the 1500 metres at the Olympic Games in Athens becoming one of Britain's most successful women middle distance runners ever. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kelly Holmes,
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Athens 2004-Athletics-1500m-HOLMES Kelly (GBR) 1st andphotographers.


  • Games
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    1500m women
    G 1:56.38
    800m women
  • B 01:56.80
    800m women

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