Dame Katherine Grainger - A Few Wise Words Book

Dame Katherine Grainger

Dame Katherine Grainger

As Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete, Katherine Grainger won a total of five medals for rowing over five consecutive Olympic Games from 2000 to 2016. She won gold in 2012 with her double sculls partner Anna Watkins, after first breaking the Olympic record during qualifying.

She also achieved eight World Championship medals (including six gold) and has won the Rowing World Cup in either the double sculls or quadruple sculls on seven occasions. She graduated with LLB (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh, an MPhil in medical law and medical ethics from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in criminal law from King’s College London. She is currently chair of UK Sport and chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Among her numerous awards, Katherine has been honoured with an MBE, a CBE, and in 2017 received her damehood for services to sport and charity.


I still tend to come back to viewing success fundamentally as being happy, because when you find purpose and passion, when you can find contentment and fulfilment in something you love doing, that’s where I believe you can find real success in life.

I sincerely believe now that until you find what it is that you may want to pursue in life, you have to cast your net as wide as possible. Ideally, there would be no limits on an individual’s thoughts or imagination, dreams or desires.

The road to success is never direct and rarely smooth. In my experience, the individuals who usually make it are the ones who are resilient, who take the knocks and who come back fighting.

I also think one of the biggest gifts that any child can possess, is ambition in life, in the widest possible sense, about what they can achieve, where they can go and the influence they might have. The world needs fabulous people right now, who are going to go out and achieve great things and add real value to the world. I’d like to believe that it’s within the power of most parents to help their children to understand that and to fire their imaginations

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