Sport / Interview

Women In Sport: Katherine Grainger on 2012’s legacy

We spoke to Britain's most decorated female Olympian about her journey to success.

Across 2019 we will be speaking to women who have achieved success in their chosen field, sharing their stories on how and why they got to where they are, what it means to them to be a female role model, plus advice for any girls or women who dream of emulating them. 


During one hot summer in 2012, over 10,000 athletes and 2 million spectators descended on London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The festival of sport captivated a nation, with Team GB recording their best result since 1908, finishing third in the medal table with 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze awards.

Every medal represents a story, with years of hard work, sacrifice and determination needed to take centre stage on the winner’s podium.

One of those lucky enough to experience Olympic success is Dame Katherine Grainger, who together with her partner Anna Watkins, took home the gold for the double sculls discipline in rowing in front of a home crowd at London 2012.

A highlight of a truly remarkable sporting career, Glasgow born Grainger’s victory was her first Olympic gold medal, after taking home silver medals at Syndey 2000, Athens 2004 and at Beijing 2008.

The rower would compete in one final Olympics at the Rio De Janeiro games in 2016, winning her fourth silver medal, before retiring from the sport.

The former Olympian is now the chair of UK Sport, the governing body which invests into Olympic and Paralympic sport participation across the UK.

In this wide-ranging interview, Grainger, who was made a Dame for her services to sport and to charity in 2017, details how she got started in rowing, what London 2012 meant to her, and why sport is such a great tool for inspiring young people.

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