Denise Lewis was inspired to become an Olympian at just 8 years old when she watched the Moscow Olympics and in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Denise Lewis took her first major International title winning the women’s heptathlon competition.
Two years later, Denise won a Bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympics, the only female to win a medal in these Games and in this same year broke the British record that had stood for ten years. 1997 saw her improve further by breaking her own British record and the Commonwealth record in her event before adding a silver medal to her collection at the World Championships in Athens.
In 1998 Denise won both the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded an MBE at the beginning of 1999 and later that year won the silver medal at the World Championships in Seville. She broke her own British record again in 2000 but the highlight of Lewis’ career came at the Olympic Games in Sydney when despite an injured Achilles tendon Denise went on to win the heptathlon making her the 6th British woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the history of Track and Field.
In 2001 she was given an OBE from the Queen. Since retiring Denise has taken part in the BBC Dancing competition ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. She is also currently a judge for BA’s Great Britons Bursary Scheme, a school sports ambassador for the Youth Sports Trust and is an ambassador for International Inspiration, London 2012’s international legacy programme for children and young people.
Denise is now a regular sports pundit for the BBC and has also presented countless TV programmes, most recently Secret Britain. She was also president of the Commonwealth Games England.
Denise’s interaction with our hosts and delegates was nothing less than exemplary and we were inspired by her energy and genuine love for meeting people and sharing her amazing stories. She is a true inspiration and the feedback we have received from our hosts has been fantastic. We look forward to working with her again soon.
Image copyright: Sam Friedrich at http://www.flickr.com/photos/samfriedrich/5543725607/
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