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|Birth name||Katherine Jane Grainger|
|Born|| (1975-11-12) 12 November 1975
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11+1⁄2 in)|
|Chancellor of University of Glasgow|
15 June 2020
|Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University|
20 March 2015 – 15 June 2020
|College team||Edinburgh University Boat Club|
|Club||St Andrew Boat Club|
|Coached by||Paul Thompson|
Dame Katherine Jane Grainger rower and current Chair of UK Sport. She is a 2012 Summer Olympics gold medallist, four-time Olympic silver medallist and six-time World Champion. She served as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University between 2015 and 2020, and is currently Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.(born 12 November 1975) is a British former
Grainger first won silver at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 in the woman's quadruple sculls. In Athens in 2004, she won silver in the coxless pairs. In Beijing 2008 she won her third silver, again in the quadruple sculls.
At the London Olympics 2012, Anna Watkins and Grainger broke the Olympic record as they qualified for the double sculls final, before winning the gold medal. Grainger won a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 with Victoria Thornley, after a two-year break from the sport. Grainger has won eight medals at the World Championship between 1997 and 2011.
Early life and education
Born in Glasgow in 1975, she attended Mosshead Primary School prior to attending Bearsden Academy in East Dunbartonshire near Glasgow. Grainger's family later moved to Netherley, Aberdeenshire.
Grainger holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Edinburgh, a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Medical Law and Medical Ethics from the University of Glasgow, and a Doctor of Philosophy in law from King's College London. Her doctoral research was supervised by Elaine Player and Ben Bowling. In July 2013 King's made Grainger a fellow. She remarked, "Without planning it both my Olympic career and my PhD have met at the same time and the culmination for both is 2012 – not by design."
She first won silver at Sydney in 2000 in the woman's quadruple sculls with Guin Batten, Gillian Lindsay and Miriam Batten losing to a German team. Four years later in Athens in 2004, she won silver again when she took part in the coxless pairs with Cath Bishop, losing to Georgeta Damian and Viorica Susanu of Romania. She returned to the quadruple sculls in Beijing 2008, when she won her third silver with Annabel Vernon, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton, narrowly losing to China after taking the lead for some of the race. On 3 August 2012, she won an Olympic gold medal at London in the double sculls with Anna Watkins. At the 2016 Olympics, she won a silver medal in double sculls with Vicky Thornley.
Grainger has won eight medals at the World Championships. The first of these was a bronze in 1997 in the eight, then a gold with Bishop in 2003, a gold in 2005 with the quadruple scull, with Houghton, Sarah Winckless, and Rebecca Romero, and in 2006 her quadruple scull was promoted to gold following a drugs test on the winning Russian crew. This quad had Debbie Flood instead of Romero, who had retired after the 2005 world championships.
Another gold came in 2007, again in the quadruple sculls, with Annabel Vernon replacing the injured Sarah Winckless. In 2009, having switched to the single scull after the Beijing Olympics, Grainger claimed a surprise silver at the World Championships in Poland. In 2010, Grainger teamed up with Anna Watkins in the double sculls and they embarked on an unbeaten season, culminating in victory in November in the World Championships in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, and then defending the title in an injury disrupted season in 2011 in Bled, Slovenia.
She has won the Rowing World Cup in the quadruple sculls in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010 and the double sculls in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
On 14 March 2015, Grainger was part of the composite crew that won the Women's Eights Head of the River Race on the River Thames in London, setting a time of 18:58.6 for the 4 1⁄4-mile (6.8 km) championship course from Mortlake to Putney. Her GB rowing team senior final trials results include:
- 2015 - 2nd, Single Scull
- 2012 – 1st, Single Scull
- 2011 – 2nd, Single Scull
- 2004–2010 – 1st, Single Scull
- 2001 – 1st, Double Scull
- 1998 – 1st, Single Scull
Following retirement, Grainger also regularly raced at the HOCR in Boston in a 'Director's Challenge Mixed 8' made up of a crew containing several past rowing Olympians and in 2019 they placed 1st in this event.
In April 2017, Grainger was appointed chair of UK Sport. She was reappointed for a second term on 1 July 2021. In March 2015, Grainger was appointed the fourth chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, at a ceremony joined by her three predecessors, Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Jon Snow and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.
Grainger is a board member for the Youth Sport Trust, the British Olympic Association's Athlete Commission and is a Patron for Netball Scotland, Winning Scotland, the NCI and Aberlour children's charity.
Grainger was previously a board member of International Inspiration (2012-2017), a charity that promoted access to sport, play, and physical exercise for low and middle income families with children around the world. It was the first international development legacy initiative linked to an Olympic and Paralympic Games. International Inspiration's board members included British broadcaster David Davies, former UK government minister Andrew Mitchell, and Sir Sebastian Coe.
In 2014 she judged the category prize 'dreams' for the Koestler Trust's annual exhibition "Catching Dreams", curated by previous Koestler award entrants. The exhibition at the Southbank Centre presented art works by prisoners, detainees and ex-offenders.
Honours and awards
Grainger was elected President of the Edinburgh University Boat Club in 1996/97. She twice received the Edinburgh University Sports Union's Eva Bailey Cup for the university's most outstanding female athlete in 1995/96 and 1996/97 and was inducted to the University's Sports Hall of Fame on 29 May 2008.
She was elected as honorary president of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association in November 2005, and a steward of Henley Royal Regatta in 2008, only the third rower to be elected while still competing.
She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2006 Birthday Honours, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to rowing, and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to sport and charity.
In August 2012, a postbox in Aberdeen was painted gold to celebrate her 2012 Olympic gold medal.
In March 2013, she became patron of the National Coastwatch Institution.
In July 2017, it was announced that trophy awarded to the winners of the Senior Women's competition at the Home International Regatta would be known as Dame Katherine Grainger Quaich. The first winners of the trophy were Scotland.
In 2020 she was appointed as the Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, in succession to Professor Sir Kenneth Calman. She is the first woman to hold the office at Glasgow University, founded in 1451.
- "New Year's Honours list 2017" (PDF). Gov.uk. Government Digital Service. 30 December 2016. p. 9. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
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