On this day in 2005: Dame Kelly Holmes announces her retirement from athletics

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Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes announced her retirement from athletics on this day in 2005.

Holmes called time on her career at the age of 35, just over a year after winning gold in the 800 metres and 1500 metres in Athens.

The former army sergeant’s efforts at those games saw her become only the second Briton to achieve the Olympic middle-distance double.

Kelly Holmes
Kelly Holmes with her 800m and 1500m gold medals (David Davies/PA)

Holmes memorably had eyes bulging with the line in sight as she triumphed in the 800m.

She was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2004 and made a Dame in the New Year Honours list.

While an Achilles injury forced Holmes to miss the 2005 World Championships, she had planned on defending her 1500m Commonwealth title in Melbourne the following year.

Dame Kelly Holmes
Holmes was made a dame at the start of 2005 (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

But when she made her retirement announcement, she revealed the sudden death of a friend had led to a reassessment.

Holmes said: “Something clicked in my mind. You never know where your life is going so why not make the most of everything?

“I have achieved everything I ever wanted. I am a double Olympic champion. I have nothing to prove to anyone, including myself. I have done and surpassed what other people will continue to dream of.”

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