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Katherine Grainger

Rower, three-time Olympic silver medalist & six-time world champion

Katherine Grainger Biography

Rowing champion Katherine Grainger achieved her dream of winning a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and is Britain's most successful female rower. As passionate about helping motivate others to achieve their goals as she is about rowing, Katherine Grainger is a truly inspiring speaker.

Background / History

Katherine Grainger discovered her love of rowing whilst studying Law at Edinburgh University. Her talent was apparent and she was twice awarded the university’s Eva Bailey Trophy (for most outstanding female athlete). Having discovered such a passion and ability for the sport, Grainger decided to train alongside her studies and her rowing went from strength to strength. Winning gold at the 1997 World Under 23 Championship was an early indication of her future within rowing and even at this early stage of her career she achieved a bronze at the World Championships against many more seasoned rowers.


Having had a highly successful career and having won a silver medal at silver medal at three Olympic Games, Grainger set her sights on a gold at London 2012. Motivated and diligent, Grainger and rowing partner Anna Watkins went on to break the Olympic record when they qualified for the Double Sculls final, (with a time of 6:44.33 in the preliminary heats) before winning the coveted gold medal.

Whilst succeeding in rowing over the years, Grainger had not given up on her academic studies. She studied Medical Law and Medical Ethics at Glasgow University as a post-graduate, achieving her Master of Philosophy degree. Now spending much of her time in London (where she rows for the GB team) she is continuing to study, this time at the University of Londons Kings College, for her Ph.D. in Homicide. Education is something she feels very strongly about and she is keen to inspire young people to pursue sports without abandoning academic studies.

Grainger became a speaker in order to share her knowledge about teamwork, communication and motivation. She has worked with a variety of high profile clients, including Lloyds TSB, The Sunday Times, Coca-Cola, BT, RBS, Energiser, and the England Womens Football Team.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • A sportswoman who proves that it is possible to achieve your goal despite knock backs. Katherine Grainger finally added a Gold Olympic medal to her three Silvers from the Beijing, Athens and Sydney Olympic Games
  • Six times World Champion rower
  • Gold medalist, London 2012 Olympics
  • Four times Olympic medalist
  • Olympic record breaker
  • Member of the GB Rowing Squad

Awards, Accolades, Achievements & Honours

  • World Under 23 Championships 1997 Gold (Coxless Pair)
  • World Championships 1997 Bronze (Eight)
  • Sydney Olympic Games 2000 Silver (Quadruple Sculls)
  • World Championships 2003 Gold (Coxless Pair)
  • Athens Olympic Games 2004 Silver (Coxless Pair)
  • World Championships 2005 Gold (Quadruple Sculls)
  • World Championships 2006 Gold (Quadruple Sculls)
  • World Championships 2007 Gold (Quadruple Sculls)
  • Beijing Olympic Games 2008 Silver (Quadruple Sculls)
  • World Championships 2009 Silver (Single Sculls)
  • World Championships 2010 Gold (Double Sculls)
  • World Championships 2011 Gold (Double Sculls)
  • London Olympic Games 2012 Gold (Double Sculls)
  • CBE (2013)
  • Woman of Influence, Action for Children Scotland (2013)
  • Athlete Ambassador responsible for promoting the key messages of Team GB (2012)
  • World Rowing Crew of the Year – Womens Double Sculls, World Rowing Awards (with Anna Watkins) (2012)
  • Honorary doctorate, Edinburgh University (2011)
  • World Rowing Crew of the Year – Womens Double Sculls, World Rowing Awards (with Anna Watkins) (2010)
  • Honorary doctorate, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (2010)
  • Olympic Athlete of the Year British Olympic Association (2010)
  • Scottish Sportsperson of the Year (2009)
  • Emirates Lonsdale Trophy, Commonwealth Games Scotland (2009)
  • MBE (2006)
  • Honorary President, Scottish Amateur Rowing Association
  • Member, St Andrew Boat Club
  • Member, Marlow Rowing Club
  • Honorary life member, Aberdeen Boat Club
  • Eva Bailey Trophy, Edinburgh University (1997)
  • Eva Bailey Trophy, Edinburgh University (1996)

Speaking Style

Enthusiastic, informal and passionate

A talented individual sportswoman, Grainger is also an asset to teams. She has excelled in single, double and quadruple scull competitions and even as part of a team of eight. Being a team member in such a high pressure environment can prove a challenge, but Graingers humour, good nature and communication skills mean that she is a valued and motivational team player.

Katherine Grainger Videos

Katherine Grainger, speaker



B) £5,000 to £10,000



Motivational Themes:
Sports and Adventure




Katherine Grainger‘s Topics

Peak Performance

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Combining academia and sports

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Books by Katherine Grainger

Katherine Grainger book

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