Olympic Gold Medal-winning Heptathlete
The heptathlon comprises seven disciplines over two days: shot-putt, high jump, 100m hurdles, 200m, long jump, javelin and 800m. After winning Commonwealth gold in this most physically demanding event, Denise Lewis swept to Olympic victory in Sydney – despite suffering from an injured achilles tendon. She became only the sixth British woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the history of track and field.
Denise was brought up by a young single mother in Wolverhampton, and talks openly about the sacrifices she had to make to maintain her training regime at the beginning of her athletic career. She has since experienced both the highs of success and the lows of press criticism for her withdrawal from the World Championships.
Since retiring from competition Denise has remained involved in supporting grassroots sport and various charities. A regular on TV Denise is a frequent athletics pundit and featured frequently during the BBC’s London 2012 coverage. She was also a runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing.
Speaking at conferences, Denise encourages delegates to see her gold medal not just as a symbol of winning, but also of collaboration. Her message focuses on the combination of qualities from dedication, ambition and passion to coaching and goal-setting which are all key to success. She also stresses the crucial role of communities in nurturing the dreams of talented local athletes.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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