Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, Chair of UK Sport, is heralded as an Olympic rowing legend having gained the status of being the only female Olympian to win five medals from five consecutive games. Her sustained ability to dominate in her chosen sport while gaining a PhD at one of the top 25 universities in the worldwide, has firmly cemented her as one of the most ‘in demand’ corporate speakers in the world.
Katherine Grainger took up rowing at Edinburgh University in 1993. Such was her progress and success, she was awarded the Eva Bailey Trophy as their most outstanding female athlete of 1996 and 1997 when she won her first international gold medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships.
Her first Olympic silver medal came in the woman’s quadruple sculls in Sydney 2000 with a second silver in the coxless pairs in Athens 2004. She continued the silver success again in the quadruple sculls in Beijing, 2008 before finally turning silver to gold in the double sculls with Anna Watkins in London 2012, having broken the Olympic Record in qualification for the final. Katherine bowed out of Olympic competition following the 2016 Rio games where she took her fourth silver medal rowing in the double sculls with Vicky Thornley. In addition to her exceptional Olympic achievements, Katherine also won eight medals at World Championships between 1997 and 2011.
Awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List, Katherine was made a Dame in 2017. Among numerous other awards and honours, Katherine was named Scottish Sports Person of the Year and received the Emirates Lonsdale Trophy from the Commonwealth Games Association in 2009, making her the first woman to receive this prestigious award. More recently accolades have included the British Rowing Medal of Honour for services to sport and Team GB ‘Olympians’ Olympian Award in 2016
Katherine is an elected member of the British Olympic Associations’ Athlete Commission, is on the board of the charity International Inspiration and is the first woman to be made Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.
In addition, she has appeared on a variety of TV shows including; A Question of Sport, Countdown and The Clare Balding Show as well as joining the BBC Commentary Team for such events as; the Rowing World Cup coverage, the Commonwealth Games 2014 and of course the 2020 Olympic Games staged in Tokyo.
A highly sought after key-note and after-dinner speaker, she excels on such topics as teamwork, over-coming challenge, motivation, winning and the importance of communication.
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