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Katherine Grainger (Doctor of Law)


Katherine Grainger MBE 1

Olympian Rower Honoured by Robert Gordon University

Katherine Grainger was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Law by Robert Gordon University at its graduation ceremony on Friday 10 December 2010.

Katherine was the first British female athlete in any sport to gain medals in three consecutive Olympic Games - silver medals in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Born in Glasgow in 1975 and brought up in Aberdeen, Katherine was a keen sportswoman from an early age, achieving a black belt in karate before she left school. However, it was while studying law at Edinburgh University that she was introduced to rowing. By the time she had graduated with an Honours degree in 1997, such was her performance in the sport she had achieved the accolade of being nominated the most outstanding athlete for two years in succession and had also won a gold medal in the coxless pairs in the World Under-23 Championships in record time.

A full-time rowing career versus pursuing education could have been a difficult choice, but Katherine opted to undertake an MPhil in Medical Law and Ethics at Glasgow University while continuing to train part-time. On completion she returned to rowing full-time and over the next few years showed her true talent, dedication to and versatility in the sport by competing in the women's eight at World Championship level before moving to the quadruple sculls where she secured her first Olympic silver medal at Sydney in 2000.

Racing in the coxless pairs in 2003 resulted in a World Championship gold medal, followed by a silver medal in the same event at the Olympics in Athens in 2004. Such has her versatility contributed to her success that a move back to the quadruple sculls led to gold in the World Championships in Japan in 2006 and she further added to her gold collection in the same event in Munich 2007.

In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics she gained her third Olympic silver medal and now sets her focus on London 2012 and the ultimate prize of winning the elusive Olympic gold medal. Not withstanding the punishing six day training regime with the British squad, Katherine combines the programme with her PhD studies in Homicide at London University. In addition she also finds time to support many charities and is active in visiting Schools to encourage young people to participate in sport.

Success in 2010 has been no different with achievement of World Championship gold in November at yet a different event, the double sculls. Whether she turns her hand to education or elite sport she has excelled through self discipline, commitment and determination.

Katherine was appointed an MBE in 2006 for her services to rowing.

Issued by:
Jonathan Shackleton
Head of Communications
Robert Gordon University
Schoolhill
Aberdeen
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262031
Email: 07970 622229
Email: j.shackleton@rgu.ac.uk.