Katherine Grainger is Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian. Katherine graduated in law from Edinburgh University, then went on to achieve an MPhil in Medical Law and Medical Ethics from Glasgow University, and in May 2013 completed a Ph.D. in the sentencing of homicide at King’s College, University of London.
Katherine took up rowing at Edinburgh University in 1993 and made such good progress she was awarded the Eva Bailey Trophy as their most outstanding female athlete in 1996 and again in 1997 when she won her first international Gold medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships.
She is the Honorary President of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association and is a member of Edinburgh rowing club St Andrew Boat Club and a member of Marlow Rowing Club. She is also an honorary life member of Aberdeen Boat Club.
In November 2009, Katherine was named as Scottish Sportsperson of the Year and awarded the “Emirates Lonsdale Trophy” by Commonwealth Games Scotland, making her the first female to win this prestigious award, and in the process leaving such Scottish sporting luminaries as Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy in her wake.
In 2012 Katherine’s dreams were realized when she won the elusive Olympic Gold medal alongside teammate Anna Watkins in the double sculls in London. She is Britain’s most successful female rower and the only female athlete – in any sport – to gain medals in four consecutive Olympic Games. Katherine was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to rowing which was announced in the 2013 New Years Honors.
In all, Katherine took a 2-year break from the GB Rowing Squad during which time she also completed her Ph.D. and wrote her autobiography Dreams Do Come True. She spent time working for the BBC as a co-presenter on the Rowing World Cup coverage, the BBC Inspire series and as a pundit during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She spent her spare time visiting schools and sports clubs and developed her natural talents as a keynote speaker in which she tells a compelling tale of the journey to success.
Katherine returned to the GB Rowing squad and a demanding training regime in 2014. At the 2015 World Rowing Championships, Katherine and Victoria Thornley qualified the boat class for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and then went on to achieve success winning a silver medal at the tournament.
In March 2015 Katherine was inaugurated as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, a role she will hold for a 7-year tenure. Katherine is eager to be part of shaping the future of the University and credits her own extensive time in academia for helping shape her rowing career.