Watch the Olympic champion discuss her journey to the pinnacle of her sport.
On a Sunday evening in Sydney in 2000, Denise Lewis from Wolverhampton was struggling with an Achilles injury that threatened to derail years of hard work.
The final event of the women’s heptathlon at the Summer Olympic Games was looming, and after a stunning comeback performance in earlier rounds, Lewis knew that if she could just complete the 800m run in a decent pace she’d take home the gold.
Finishing in sixth place with a time of 2:16:83, the athlete crossed the finish line not knowing if she’d done enough. After an agonising wait came the euphoria. The scoreboard confirmed that Lewis had indeed done enough – just – and she was an Olympic Champion. The crowd in the stadium, alongside millions of viewers back home, went wild.
The win made Denise Lewis a household name back home and is the highlight of a glittering athletics career that also includes wins at the 1998 European Championships and at the 1994 and 1998 Commonwealth Games, as well as silver medals at the 1997 and 1999 World Championships.
After her retirement from competing, Lewis turned to broadcasting and has acted as a pundit for the BBC’s coverage of the past two summer Olympic games.
Lewis was made an OBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours list and currently serves as President of Commonwealth Games England.
In the interview above, Lewis describes where her love of sport comes from, that night in Sydney, and opens up on why she believes it’s important for young people to experience live sport.
See more interviews from across Ticketmaster’s Women In Sport series, including with Britain’s most decorated female Olympian Katherine Grainger, Tottenham Hotspur Women’s Siri Worm, Olympic cyclist Katie Archibald, model/racecar driver Jodie Kidd, and Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Simmonds.
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