Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic and Commonwealth champion, tells MEED determination is the key in sport and life

Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Maryah Island, 5 November 2014. Dame Kelly Holmes  — gold medal-winning Olympic and Commonwealth middle-distance runner — told MEED at the first Daman Corporate Health Awards tonight that determination is the key to success in both sport and life.

“When I was 14, my dream was to be an Olympic champion,” Holmes told MEED. It eventually happened, twice, at the Athens Olympics 20 years later when she came first in both the women’s 800 and 1,500 metres.

“For about six months, I thought I was dreaming and I would wake up on the starting line,” Holmes said.

Today, Holmes is one of the UK’s most respected sports personalities who continues to support efforts to cultivate athletic talent in Britain as well as maintain her commitments to a wide range of other activities.

These include the role of being sports ambassador in the Future Champions talent development programme created by Daman, the Abu Dhabi health insurance firm. She is also supporting Active Life by Daman, a community mobilisation programme.

Kelly was in Abu Dhabi this week to meet for the first time members of the select group of 40 youngsters aged 10-17 that have been selected to participate in the future champions programme.

The Daman Corporate Health Awards were organised by MEED. Headline sponsor is Daman. Silver sponsor is Access All Areas. VIP partners are the Ministry of Public Works and University Hospital. Strategic partner is Imperial College Diabetes Centre.