2004: Kelly Holmes does the double in Athens

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Joyful tears, acrobatics, high-pitched screams — all examples of typical celebrations from athletes after scoring the winning goal or try, crossing the line in first or knocking out the opposition.

Reflecting on this particular sporting moment of the decade, it is hard to forget the eyes of Kelly Holmes as she crossed that finish line in Athens. Her eyes spoke a thousand words. Jubilation, disbelief and raw emotion all shot through her body.

The culmination of over a decade of training and competing, the overcoming of career-threatening injuries — it all finally paid off as she stormed to a gold medal in the 800 metres.

She swept past her opponents as she entered the home straight. Her face was withered with grit and determination as she gradually overtook 800m legend Maria Mutola and claimed her inaugural Olympic gold.

The 800m was not her preferred event and she only finalised her decision to compete in the event a mere five days before the heats began. However, the memorable success propelled her to even greater glory as she comfortably won the 1500m.

Following the Athens Olympics, Holmes went on to claim a number of personal accolades including the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2004. It was a fitting tribute to the British legend who became only the third women in the history of the Olympics to do the 800m and 1500m double.

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