Katherine Grainger

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 4
Bronze 0
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameKatherine Jane•Grainger
Used nameKatherine•Grainger
Born12 November 1975 in Glasgow, Glasgow City, Scotland (GBR)
Measurements183 cm / 78 kg
AffiliationsSt. Andrew Boat Club, Edinburgh
Title(s)Dame
NOC Great Britain

Biography

Australian distance runner Ron Clarke is supposed to have once famously said I’ve got enough silvers to light up a bleeding Christmas tree. Katherine Grainger’s Olympic career seems to mirror Clarke in that respect. Grainger has been world champion on six occasions between 2003 and 2011 but her Olympic appearances had all ended with her being one step away from the top of the podium.

The first of these second place finishes in 2000 was as part of the crew in the quadruple sculls that won Britain’s first ever Olympic rowing medal in a women’s event. Further silvers followed in the coxless pairs at Athens in 2004 and the quadruple sculls at Beijing in 2008 until it all came good for Grainger as she won the double sculls gold medal with Anna Watkins on home water in 2012. With a new partner, Victoria Thornley, she was hoping for a second gold in Rio, but, alas, it was to be a fourth silver medal as she became the first British woman to win medals at five consecutive Games and become the most decorated British female Olympian. Between 2003-11 Grainger won six world titles in three different events, and retired from rowing after the Rio Games.

Grainger has a degree in law from Edinburgh University, a master’s degree in medical law from Glasgow University and further studied for a doctorate at King’s College, London. Having previously been honoured with an MBE and CBE, she became Dame Katherine Grainger in 2017 after receiving a knighthood for her services to sport and her charity work. She was also announced as the new chair of UK Sport in 2017.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2000 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Katherine Grainger
Quadruple Sculls, Women (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver
2004 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Katherine Grainger
Coxless Pairs, Women (Olympic) Cath Bishop 2 Silver
2008 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Katherine Grainger
Quadruple Sculls, Women (Olympic) Great Britain 2 Silver
2012 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Katherine Grainger
Double Sculls, Women (Olympic) Anna Watkins 1 Gold
2016 Summer Olympics Rowing GBR Katherine Grainger
Double Sculls, Women (Olympic) Victoria Thornley 2 Silver