One of Britain’s most iconic athletes, Colin Jackson is a two-time world champion hurdler who earned a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Colin’s infectious and likeable personality has also seen him become a regular feature on British TV appearing on the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Who Do You Think You Are? and Celebrity MasterChef. In 2017 Colin came out as gay at the age of 50 and during his diversity and inclusion speaking events, he is able to discuss his battle with his sexuality.
A truly world-class hurdler in his prime, Colin has won an extraordinary 21 medals across the Olympics, World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, 12 of which were gold. In a career that spanned more than 15 years, Colin held the 110m hurdles record for over a decade making him one of the most decorated British athletes of all time. Since retiring in 2003 Colin has worked as an athletics coach and broadcaster working as a pundit and commentator for the BBC covering some of the biggest events in world sport.
Colin burst onto the scene in 1986 at the World Junior Championships. But it wasn’t long until he’d reached the senior ranks. In the same year, he headed to Edinburgh for the Commonwealth Games winning a silver medal. This was the springboard that saw him head to the 1988 Olympic Games and once again come away with a silver medal.
Throughout his career, Colin harboured the secret of his sexuality and battle with an eating disorder. Determined to focus on his sport, Colin suppressed his true identity for fear of the homophobia he would face, and the impact it could have on his position as a sportsman. Similarly, overwhelmed with the pressure of performing at top levels, Colin was driven to an eating disorder, becoming bulimic and anorexic after obsessing over becoming lighter for speed. Now, having overcome his personal adversity, Colin is an advocate for greater acceptance and open conversations in every industry.
Colin continues to remain a prominent sports personality through his speaking engagements. Having battled with his sexuality and mental health, Colin is able to address such topics as a speaker educating audiences on the tools needed to overcome adversity. Additionally, Colin supports corporate clients in developing inclusive cultures in the workplace and improving diversity. Not only is he a British sporting legend but Colin’s remarkable life story can see him add insight on a variety of topics.
“The delivery and content of his presentation was excellent. I have rarely, if ever, met anyone who is so generous with his time with every single person he meets. He has that rare ability to make each one feel so special. Nothing is too much for Colin; his rapport with both children and adults is obvious from the moment he arrives”
“Please can you pass back to Colin huge thanks for speaking at and essentially hosting our event. He was fantastic and couldn’t have been nicer – he spoke to, and had photos with hordes of people after the event. He’s definitely a world champion speaker as well as a world champion athlete. His talk and Q&A session were absolutely gripping, fit the brief perfectly and left everyone feeling really inspired to reach for the things that really matter to us, turn mistakes and obstacles into stepping stones and put our whole selves into whatever we are trying to achieve. I found myself wishing I had means of taking notes! We’re all still buzzing.”
“I just wanted to let you know that yesterday went very well. Colin was as engaging as we had hoped. Colin handled the questions excellently and was very open while maintaining professionalism. The talk was absorbing and while Colin would have clearly delivered it before, he came across very naturally and engaged with us. Some great insights.”