Chris Holmes

Former Paralympic Swimmer, 9 x Olympic Gold Medallist and one of Britain's Greatest Paralympians

Chris Holmes

Lord Chris Holmes is famed for his career as a Paralympic swimmer and is branded with the title of Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer. Such a title was earned through an impressive tally of medals, with nine golds, five silvers and one bronze medal in Chris’ collection. Since retiring from swimming Chris played a significant role in the organisation of the 2012 London Paralympic Games and has even become a politician, taking on the title of Lord Holmes of Richmond as part of the House Of Lords.

Chris has faced adversity throughout his life, losing his sight as a teenager due to the condition Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy. He did not let adversity hinder him in any way, and continued to thrive in swimming with aspirations of competing at the Paralympics. His hard work and commitment soon paid off and he became a pivotal member of the Great Britain swimming team in 1985. Chris had the opportunity to compete at the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games, the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games, the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games and the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Upon retiring from competitive swimming Chris worked as a journalist before becoming a qualified commercial lawyer. As a lawyer, he specialised in employment and pensions, alongside taking on a role in the Disability Rights Commission. Due to his Olympic success, Chris was appointed an ambassador for London 2012 Paralympic Games and Director of Paralympic Integration in 2009.

In 2013 Chris decided to venture into the realm of politics after the Prime Minister invited him to join the House of Lords. He was appointed Lord Holmes of Richmond and devoted his time to issues surrounding education, employment, skills, media, sport and digital opportunities. As well as political commitments, Chris also shared his time with the Future Talent Steering Group. This is an organisation that aims to provide thought leadership in relation to developing opportunities in a changing world.

A key interest of Chris’ is being an advocate for disability, and he has involvement in a number of campaigns that promote accessibility and celebrate diversity. His interests and qualifications gave him the opportunity to take on the role of non-executive director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Here he was responsible for a number of inclusion and diversity programmes, which appealed to his passion for disability advocacy.

With such a diverse history Chris is the perfect candidate for an Olympic speaker at your next event. With knowledge across a range of different sectors, from politics to sport and law to journalism Chris is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on any audience member.

To book Lord Chris Holmes for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact Champions Olympic Speakers using the contact details below.

When at corporate events, Chris is known to cover the following topics:

  • Drive & Determination
  • Peak Performance
  • The Paralympics
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Paralympic Swimming


Take a look at Chris in action here:

Over the course of his career, Chris has made the following achievements:

  • 9 x Paralympic gold medallist
  • 5 x Paralympic silver medallist
  • Paralympic bronze medallist
  • SAF Paul Zetter Award 1996
  • Sports Personality of the Year Variety Club of GB 1997
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