Paralympic legend, Chris Holmes is one of Britain’s most accomplished swimmers who boasts no less than nine Gold medals in the international competition. Despite being blind, Chris has pursued his ambitions and not only achieved global recognition for his sporting achievements but used his platform to pave the way for others. A champion of diversity, Chris has campaigned for greater inclusion at the Games, and now supports clients in both the public and private sector in implementing equality strategies.
Best known for his incredible performances in the Paralympic swimming pool, Chris, who went blind as a teenager due to a genetic disorder, has competed at four Games’. From his debut in 1988 where he secured two silver and one bronze medals, to the 1992 Barcelona event where he won a record-breaking six gold medals in one Paralympics, Chris has earned his place as a world class athlete. In addition to his undeniable presence on the Paralympic stage, Chris held seven World Records during his career and swam at two World Championships.
For his impressive career, and exemplary ability to overcome adversity, Chris was honoured with an MBE for services to swimming for the disabled. In 1992, after his initial Paralympic success, Chris was named as Midland’s Today Sports Personality of the Year, and later the SAF Paul Zetter Award was given to him in 1996.
Since retiring from the pool, Chris has dedicated his time to improving opportunities and awareness for disabled people in sports. As the Director of Paralympic Integration for the London 2012 Olympics, Chris ensured the needs of Paralympic competitors were met with regards to equality, representation and facilities. He has also invested his time into numerous UK advisory positions, including on the Board of UK Sports and as the special advisor on Diversity & Inclusion to the Civil Service ensuring he is the ideal expert to support audiences of his speaking events in improving their inclusion culture.