Middle-distance runner Kelly Holmes overcame age and injury to win her finally win her first Olympic gold medal at age 34. Holmes, of Great Britain, competed in the women’s 800m and 1500m. She was first inspired to be a middle-distance runner after seeing compatriot Sebastian Coe win the gold in the men’s 1500m at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
After a stint with the military, Holmes became a full-time track athlete, and made her Olympic debut in 1996 in Atlanta at the relatively advanced age of 26. But a stress fracture she suffered just before the Games affected her performance, and she only managed a fourth-place finish in the 800m. Four years later in Sydney, it was a calf injury that slowed Holmes down, but she managed to win a bronze in the 800m.
Holmes was finally healthy in Athens in 2004, and she won that elusive gold in the 800m, winning by five-hundredths of a second in an extremely close finish. She became a double gold winner by also topping the 1500m five nights later.
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