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We All Need To Hear Dame Kelly Holmes' Words About Failure & Mental Health
Words by LUCIANA BELLINI
Photography by JONNY COCHARNE & MORGANE LAY
Become
We All Need To Hear Dame Kelly Holmes' Words About Failure & Mental Health
Words by LUCIANA BELLINI
Photography by JONNY COCHARNE & MORGANE LAY
She’s celebrated for her athletic endeavours but for more than a decade Dame Kelly Holmes has been a key player in opening up the conversation around mental health – here she talks success, struggles and why one never negates the other.

“Most people that have been successful have had setbacks; they just learn to switch it back up,” says Dame Kelly Holmes, World, Commonwealth and Olympic champion, national treasure and committed mental health advocate. "To me, resilience is about understanding that life is a journey.” 

Should you ever be limited to one word when implored to describe Holmes, resilient would be a good choice. That she finally grabbed Olympic glory at 34, her last roll of the dice in the twilight of a career plagued by injury and illness, is justification enough. But it is the mental counterpart to that physical struggle - and her battle to not only overcome it but to talk publicly about in order to help others - that proves her grit and cements her heroine status.     

"My lowest point came at the height of my career," says Holmes. "It was 2003, I was getting ready for the World Championships and I had a massive breakdown. That’s when I became a self-harmer. I felt like I was under a big black cloud and yet two weeks later I was standing on a podium with a silver medal around my neck and no one knew."

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