Denise Lewis: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Denise Lewis
Personal information
Nickname(s) dennie
Nationality British
Date of birth 27 August 1972 (1972-08-27) (age 37)
Place of birth West Bromwich
Height 1.73 metres (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 64 kilograms (140 lb)
Country United Kingdom
Sport Heptathlon
Club Birchfield Harriers
Coached by Charles van Commenee
Retired 2005
Medal record

Denise Lewis OBE (born 27 August 1972, in West Bromwich, England) is a British athlete who specialises in the heptathlon. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.


Athletic career


2000 Olympics

The first day of the 2000 Summer Olympics heptathlon was 23 September. In the first event, Lewis recorded 13.23 seconds[1] for the 100 metres hurdles to be in second place behind the world champion, Eunice Barber, who had finished in 12.97 seconds. Ghada Shouaa, the 1996 Olympic champion, pulled-out after only 20 metres of her heat.

After a poor performance in the high jump of only 1.75 m,[1] some way off her personal best, Lewis was in eighth place, 152 points behind Barber who had increased her lead. In the third event, the shot put, Lewis recorded a distance of 15.55 m,[1] placing her second. 30 points behind Natallia Sazanovich and 45 points ahead of former world champion Sabine Braun. Barber's distance of 11.27 m put her in eighth place.

In the final event of the day, the 200 metres, Lewis recorded a time of 24.34 sec.[1] Sabine Braun's time placed put her in sixth position. A strong run by Natalya Roshchupkina moved her from sixth position to second, pushing Lewis into third place.

At the end of the first day, the points scored were:

  1. Natallia Sazanovich, BLR: 3903
  2. Natalya Roshchupkina, RUS: 3872
  3. Denise Lewis, GBR: 3852
  4. Urszula Włodarczyk, POL: 3805
  5. Yelena Prokhorova, RUS: 3771
  6. Sabine Braun, GER: 3770
  7. Eunice Barber, FRA: 3707
  8. Karin Specht-Ertl, GER: 3697

The first event on the second day was the long jump. Lewis's best jump was 6.48 m,[1] marginally behind Yelena Prokhorova and Sazanovich. Eunice Barber, struggling with injury, withdrew after this event. In event six, the javelin, Lewis achieved a throw of 50.19 m.[1] With her closest rivals some way further back she moved into first place with Sazanovich 63 points behind in second place and Prokhorova in third a further 83 points behind.

In the final event, the 800 m, Lewis ran with the lower part of her left leg bandaged for a calf and Achilles tendon injury, aiming to stay close enough to the race leaders to maintain her points advantage.[1] Prokhorova won the race convincingly and when Lewis crossed the line behind Sazanovich it was not, at first, clear if Lewis's time of 2:16.83 was enough to retain first place.[1] After the individual points had been calculated, it was announced that Lewis had won with a total of 6584 points.[1] Prokhorova was second with 6531 (53 points behind Lewis) and Sazanovich was third with 6527 (4 points behind Prokhorova).[1]

2004 Olympics

At the 2004 Olympics, Lewis was suffering from a number of injuries and withdrew from the competition after the long jump.[1] Team-mate and training partner Kelly Sotherton took bronze.

Personal bests

  • 100 m hurdles - 13.13 seconds
  • 200 m - 24.10 seconds
  • 800 m - 2 min 12.20 seconds
  • high jump - 1.87 m
  • long jump - 6.69 m
  • shot put - 16.12 m
  • javelin - 51.13 m
  • heptathlon - 6831 points

Awards and recognition

In the 2000 New Years Honours List, Lewis was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[2]

Alongside Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Christine Ohuruogu, Lewis is one of the current "golden girls" of British athletics and has twice, 1998 and 2000, been runner up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In 1993 Lewis was put forward as a candidate in the BBC Midlands great midlander of all-time award but lost out to eventual winner Reginald Mitchell the inventor of the Supermarine Spitfire.

Her British and Commonwealth record of 6831 points was set on 30 July 2000 in Talence, France.[1] It is currently twenty-second in the all time list.

In 2002, her Olympic victory was ranked 90th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.

After athletics

Strictly Come Dancing

In 2004, Lewis took part in the BBC dancing competition, Strictly Come Dancing. She was partnered alongside professional dancer, Ian Waite and in the first few weeks scored the highest number of points with the judges. She didn't achieve her tongue-in-cheek ambition of a foxtrot round the dance floor with the IOC President, Jacques Rogge. She eventually reached the final and was runner-up to actress Jill Halfpenny. After this, she and the two other partners from the final, danced at the Royal Variety Performance.

About 10 days after competing in the final of Strictly Come Dancing, Denise and Ian competed again in the Strictly Come Dancing Champion of Champions Special, where the finalists from both series of the contest, competed against each other. Denise received the most points from the judges, however she once again became the runner up of the contest, as Jill Halfpenny won overall.

She again revisited the role for the BBC's charitable fund-raiser Let's Dance for Comic Relief in 2009, reaching the final of the competition.


In 2009, Denise was a pundit for BBC Sport's coverage of the 2009 World Athletics Championships from Berlin alongside Michael Johnson and Colin Jackson

Personal life

Lewis is married to Steve Finan, former manager of the UK pop group All Saints and son of comedian Tom O'Connor. She has three children: Lauryn, Ryan and Kane.


She went to The Regis School in Wolverhampton, later to become The King's School, Church of England. A £1 million sports hall was later built there and named after her. She played on "All Star Family Fortunes" broadcast on 29th November 2009 with her husband, mum, step son Joe O'Connor and best friend. She went on to win £10,000 for her chosen charity.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Denise Lewis". UK Retrieved 10 July 2008.  
  2. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56070, pp. 9–12, 30 December 2000. Retrieved on 11 July 2008.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Germany Sabine Braun
Women's Heptathlon Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
France Eunice Barber


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