Dame Katherine Grainger Scotland

Biography of Dame Katherine Grainger

Dame Katherine Grainger
Dame Katherine Grainger

Dame Katherine Grainger is Britain’s most decorated female athlete with Olympic medals from 5 consecutive Olympic Games.

Originally from Glasgow, Katherine studied at Edinburgh University, where she took up the sport in 1993. Her international rowing career began in 1997 and since then she has won 6 world championships. Uniquely in the UK, she has won world championship medals in all available Olympic boat classes. She has won 4 Olympic silver medals at Sydney, Athens, Beijing and Rio 2016. In 2012, she won an Olympic gold in front of a home crowd. Katherine is the only British female athlete from any sport to win medals in five consecutive Olympic Games.

Katherine has an honours LLB (Edinburgh), an MPhil in Law (Glasgow) and a PhD in the sentencing of homicide (King’s College London). She was awarded the honorary degree of LLD by the University of Glasgow on the 20th June 2013.

Alongside her studies, Katherine wrote her autobiography which was published in 2013. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, a CBE in 2012 and a Damehood (DBE) in the 2017 New Year’s Honours for services to rowing and charity. Since 2017, Katherine has held the position of Chair at UK Sport (Britain’s high performance agency) where she hopes to build on the success and commitment to excellence that she witnessed as an athlete.

In 2020, Katherine was inaugurated as Chancellor of University of Glasgow. Katherine is eager to be part of shaping the future of the University and credits her own extensive time in academia for helping shape her rowing career.


Dame Katherine Grainger
Born 12 November 1975.
GU Degrees: LLD, 2013; MPhil, 2001;
University Link: Alumnus, Chancellor, Honorary Graduate
Honours: CBE
Occupation categories: Chancellor; rower
Record last updated: 22nd Nov 2021

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow
Place of Birth

University Connections

University Roles