29 Facts About Denise Lewis


Dame Denise Rosemarie Lewis was born on 27 August 1972 and is a British sports presenter and former track and field athlete, who specialised in the heptathlon.


Denise Lewis won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was twice Commonwealth Games champion, was the 1998 European Champion and won World Championships silver medals in 1997 and 1999.


Denise Lewis was the first European to win the Olympic heptathlon, though Europeans, including Briton Mary Peters, had won the Olympic pentathlon precursor event.


In event six, the javelin, Lewis achieved a throw of 50.19 m 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.


Prokhorova won the race convincingly and when Denise Lewis crossed the line behind Sazanovich it was not, at first, clear if Denise Lewis's time of 2:16.83 was enough to retain first place.


At the 2004 Olympics, Denise Lewis was suffering from a number of injuries and withdrew from the competition after the long jump.


Denise Lewis was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1999 New Year Honours, Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2001 New Year Honours and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2023 New Year Honours for services to sport.


In 2010, Denise Lewis was inducted into the Wolverhampton Sporting Hall of Fame, while in 2011, she was then inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame.


In 2003, Denise 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.


Denise Lewis was voted "Sportswoman of the Year" by the Sports Journalists' Association in 1997,1998 and 2000, a joint-record three times, while being named as runner up in 1996.


Denise Lewis was selected as "Female Athlete of the Year" by the British Athletics Writers' Association four times, in 1996,1997,1998, and 2000.


Denise Lewis won the Sunday Times "Sportswoman of the Year" a record three times, in 1994,1998 and 2000.


At the inaugural British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards in 2015, Denise Lewis became the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.


In 2010, Denise Lewis was made a Patron of the Jaguar Academy of Sport.


Outside of her sports achievements, Denise Lewis was included in the 2019 edition of the Powerlist, ranking the 100 most influential Black Britons.


Since 2009, Denise Lewis has acted as a pundit for BBC Sport's athletics coverage and she has covered major live events including the 2009 World Athletics Championships, 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2012 Summer Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Summer Olympics.


On 2 February 2015, Denise Lewis guest hosted an episode of The One Show with Matt Baker.


Denise Lewis has been a presenter on various non-sports television programmes.


In July 2015, Denise Lewis co-hosted Right on the Money, a daytime series, alongside Dominic Littlewood on BBC One.


From 22 July 2011, Denise Lewis hosted children's reality television show Camp Orange.


Denise Lewis is a presenter of the BBC's Secret Britain which introduces lesser-known aspects of the British countryside.


In 2004, Denise Lewis took part in the BBC dancing competition, Strictly Come Dancing.


Denise Lewis was partnered with professional dancer Ian Waite and in the first few weeks scored the highest number of points with the judges.


Denise Lewis eventually reached the final and was runner-up to actress Jill Halfpenny.


Denise Lewis received the most points from the judges, but again was runner-up to Halfpenny.


Denise Lewis then appeared on the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, partnered with Anton du Beke.


In October 2022, Denise Lewis was unmasked in series 2 of The Masked Dancer as Sea Slug.


Denise Lewis was in a relationship with Belgian sprinter Patrick Stevens from the late 1990s until 2005.


In 2006, Denise Lewis married Steve Finan O'Connor, former manager of the UK pop group All Saints, current manager of Liam Payne and son of comedian Tom O'Connor.