Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE
Director of Integration for London 2012, the most successful Paralympics in history, Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE is a truly inspirational and highly principled leader and speaker. Prior to this he won six gold medals in one Paralympics. Lord Holmes is also a fine and gifted speaker, and he was recently appointed to the House of Lords.
About Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE
Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE (Chris) was the Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 and he famously delivered the most successful Paralympics ever. It was the same determination which had earlier helped him become Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer of all time. Chris won nine gold medals, achieving a record six gold medals at a single Paralympics.
In his inspirational talks, Chris describes the setbacks and the hard work as well as the victories. He talks about what it was like to go blind overnight at the age of 14. He explains how he never lost his ambition and determination to succeed and ultimately achieved dreams formed before losing his sight; to attend Cambridge University and represent his country in sport. He explains, also, how he beat the competition by facing down everything in training, embracing change and maintaining focus. Chris understands how to create the conditions for success. He now applies a similar approach in his leadership role, encouraging others to fulfil their own potential.
Chris has an unusual depth and breadth of experience. After retiring from competitive swimming he worked as a journalist before qualifying and working as a commercial lawyer for a leading international City practice. He was also appointed as the non-Executive Director to the Disability Rights Commission and UK Sport and was an Ambassador for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid. As Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 he was responsible for the most successful commercial Paralympic Games ever, delivering a series of firsts including: the first games to have all sponsors signed to both Olympics and Paralympics, the first games to sell out all the stadia for every session and the first games to achieve worldwide television audiences in the hundreds of millions.
In 2013 the Prime Minister invited Chris to join his team in the House of Lords becoming Lord Holmes of Richmond. Chris brings his wide-ranging experience to bear in this role and actively relishes this new political position. His experiences navigating the ancient corridors of power with guide dog Lottie offer numerous insightful and entertaining anecdotes. In other roles, Chris demonstrates a continuing commitment to organisations and values in which he believes passionately. As non-Executive Director for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Chris works to improve the equality and human rights legislative framework in the UK and globally alongside the UN.
In the pool, at the Olympic Games, as team captain, Chris led the British team to top spot on the medal board for the first time. He won a string of World and European titles, broke 35 world records and was awarded an MBE for services to British sport at the incredibly young age of 20.
Chris is a Patron of the British Armed Services charity ‘Help for Heroes’, working closely with servicemen and women returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris also works as Ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and as a Supporter for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Watch Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE’s TEDx talk here.
Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE speaks on Change, Transition, Leadership, Culture and Change, and his clients range from global corporations to financial institutions. He is also popular with schools and colleges, where his speech ‘How to Do Life’ is particularly well received.