Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes has been honoured at
the venue where she prepared for her gold medal winning streak.
Dame Kelly attended a special ceremony at the English Institute
of Sport - Sheffield (EIS Sheffield) where her image was unveiled
in the prestigious Hall of Champions.
The Hall of Champions was opened at EIS Sheffield in 2009 by
Lord Sebastian Coe to celebrate the success of Sheffield's finest
elite sports men and women and features other sporting greats who
have trained at the state-of-the-art facility.
Dame Kelly used the world-class facilities at EIS Sheffield to
prepare for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she took gold
in both the 800m and 1500m.
She credits the EIS support team, including coaches,
physiotherapists and medics, with her recovery from the calf injury
suffered prior to the Athens Olympics.
Dame Kelly said: "It's a real honour to have my picture in the
Hall of Champions with other athletes who've been very successful
in their careers.
"I spent time training at EIS Sheffield during its early days so
it's really special to have my experiences embedded here. The venue
is fantastic, world-class. It has the right facilities and the
right environment and athletes come to train here for a
Dame Kelly's image now sits alongside athletes including
Sheffield-born former world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis,
James Degale and Paul Goodison, who both won gold in Beijing,
Winter Olympic gold medallist Nicola Minichiello and world squash
champion Nick Matthew.
Lorenzo Clark, operations director for Sheffield International
Venues (SIV), which operates EIS Sheffield, said: "Kelly is a
fantastic role model to the world of athletics. Her hard work and
dedication deserves its rightful place in the prestigious Hall of
Champions and we are extremely proud to have her be a part of the
Around 80 athletes are currently using SIV's facilities across
the city in preparation for the 2012 Olympics.
EIS Regional Director, Peter Elliott, said: "Our
physiotherapist, Alison Rose, worked closely with Kelly during her
time at EIS Sheffield before the Athens Olympics and did an
excellent job in getting her there.
"We hope some more future sporting champions will train at EIS
Sheffield and that the Hall of Champions will be a great
inspiration. I'm sure we will have many more sporting greats to add
to it the future, particularly after London 2012 this summer."