Kent Connections include:
Olympic Sport: Athletics (Middle Distance
Olympic Games: 1996, 2000, 2004
Kelly Holmes was born in Pembury and has become one of the
all-time Great British athletes.
In 1983 she became the English Schools Women’s junior 1500m
champion, and in 1987 the English Schools Women’s senior
In 1988 Holmes joined the British Army. She became a sergeant
and specialised as a physical education instructor. She left in
1997 to further her professional athletics career.
Kelly Holmes suffered a number of serious leg injuries and also
clinical depression. At the 1996 Olympics, despite suffering from a
stress fracture in her left leg, Holmes competed in both the 800
metres and 1500 metres, and finished 4th in the 800 metres
After the effects of a virus, she was left with only 6 weeks to
prepare for competition in the 2000 Olympics, but gained a
bronze medal in the 800 metres.
At the 2004 Olympics, she became the first Great British athlete
to win 2 Gold Medals at the same Games since 1920, and was
named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
In 2005 she was honoured as a Dame of the British Empire and
retired from competitive athletics; then set up the DKH Legacy
Trust, with the mission 'to create life chances for young people',
giving young people the opportunity to work with and alongside
elite sports performers.
Kelly Holmes is both a BT London 2012 Ambassador and the Kent
Olympic Ambassador. She is the patron of the Kent 2012