Denise Lewis Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Denise Lewis  

Olympic Gold Medalist

Denise Lewis OBE (born 27 August 1972, in West Bromwich) is a retired English track and field athlete, who specialised in the heptathlon. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Lewis was honoured as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours. Since retiring from athletics, she has undertaken various television and media work and is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television, including during London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Born in West Bromwich, to Jamaican-born parents, Lewis grew up in Wolverhampton and was educated at The Regis School in Tettenhall, later to become The King's School (Church of England). A £1 million sports hall was later built there and named in her honour.

Lewis was married to Belgian 200 metre-sprinter Patrick Stevens up until 2005. They have one daughter together. In 2006, Lewis married Steve Finan O'Connor, former manager of the UK pop group All Saints and son of comedian Tom O'Connor. The couple have three children.

In the 2001 New Year Honours, Lewis was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), having already been appointed MBE in the 1999 New Year Honours.

In 2000, she was also presented with the Freedom of the City of Wolverhampton. In 2010, Lewis was inducted into the Wolverhampton Sporting Hall of Fame, while in 2011, she was then inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2013, Lewis was honoured at the annual Wolverhampton Famous Sons & Daughters Awards ceremony. In 2014, she was presented with an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton.

With Dame Kelly Holmes, Christine Ohuruogu and Paula Radcliffe, Lewis enjoys acclamation as one of the "golden girls" of British athletics and, in 1998 and 2000 has been runner up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In 2003, Lewis was put forward as a candidate in the BBC Midlands great midlander of all-time award but lost out to eventual winner Reginald Mitchell the inventor of the Supermarine Spitfire. Lewis was voted "Sportswoman of the Year" by the Sports Journalists' Association (SJA) in 1997, 1998 and 2000, a joint-record three times, while also being named as runner up in 1996. She was selected as "Female Athlete of the Year" by the British Athletics Writers' Association (BAWA) four times, in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000. Lewis won the Sunday Times "Sportswoman of the Year" a record three times, in 1994, 1998 and 2000.

At the inaugural British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA) in 2015, Lewis became the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her British and Commonwealth record of 6831 points was set on 30 July 2000 in Talence, France. As of 2013, she ranks 15th in the Heptathlon all-time list.

In 2002, Lewis' Olympic victory was ranked 90th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.

In 2010, Lewis was made a Patron of the Jaguar Academy of Sport.


No videos yet.

Related Speakers View all

More like Denise