Sally Gunnell



2022 sees Sally’s 30th anniversary of winning gold at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, in 400m hurdles.

Sally has a special place in the nation's hearts as one of Britain's most popular female sportspeople. She is the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently - Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth - and yet had to fight back from numerous injury setbacks.

Following her retirement from international athletics, Sally developed a new career as a television presenter and motivational speaker. She has written four books on fitness, health, self-fulfilment and well-being and does a lot of consultancy work with clients, setting up programmes to get their staff more engaged in physical activity and health

Keynote speaking: 

Sally still regularly delivers her motivational and inspirational keynotes round her two incredible journeys, first to Olympic Gold (1992) and then the following year winning gold at the Worlds (1993).

Her journey to Olympic gold tracks the trials and tribulations to achieving her childhood dream. The processes she needed to put in place, as well as working on the missing piece of the puzzle - mental strength, overcoming self-doubt, using the power of visualisation! It was about executing the perfect race. Controlling only what she could control! Running her own race.

Her journey to gold at the World champ gold the following year, was where she really learnt a lot about herself. Having achieved her childhood dream the previous year, where would she find the motivation from to perform again under the pressure of the world stage. To add to that pressure Sally was not fighting fit. Suffering with a bad cold, how easy would it have been not to take part. She had the perfect excuse. But that was not what Sally was about! Drawing heavily on the power of the mind, locking away that inner voice of self-doubt!

Resilience / Wellbeing

This is a topic Sally has spoken on countless times over the past 2 years.

The keynote is based on her combined learnings and experience from her sporting career and the parallels between sport and business.

Resilience is about having the ability to cope with stress and pressure when the going gets tough! When life knocks you down, having the strength to get back up, again and again. The tips and tricks audiences go away with are invaluable to both their work and home life, and the individual and the business.  It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. Implementing small changes that are sustainable but collectively make the greatest difference!

Sally weaves in key areas individuals can address that will support their wellbeing and improve their confidence: Fuelling ourselves, being Active, the power of Sleep, Mental strength, and Fulfilment, which comes from witnessing our own growth.

We have all had to overcome a great deal in the past two years.  Now it’s about finding the confidence to move forward into a new reality. Covid-19 is part of life now and we need to be more resilient to deal with it and that comes down to looking after our wellbeing!

She is married to Jon and is mum to three young sons; Finley, Luca and Marley.

Sally says: 

"Winning Olympic Gold in Barcelona in 1992 was a massive achievement. I reached the pinnacle of my sport. I very quickly realised that the huge challenge of getting there was going to be dwarfed by the demands of staying at the top. The pressure on me at the Stuttgart World Championships in 1993 was immense. All of my competitors were improving fast and the public expectation of me was sky high. Despite this, I ended up becoming World Champion and setting a new world record.

All businesses are striving for excellence in what they do, not just this time but every time. Business leaders expect more and more from their people; better customer service, improved products, quicker response times, greater efficiency...all of this against a backdrop of global competition from other organisations waiting to take your business away if you fail to make the grade.

Sustaining Excellence is about dealing with pressure and delivering top level performance every time. I take your people through my own experiences at the top of international sport.

  • We explore the clear comparisons between sporting and commercial challenges and how they are overcome
  • We discuss the importance of developing a passion for excellence, which drives us to achieve top level results again and again.

I look forward to working with you"

“We really enjoyed the evening and found Sally Gunnell's speech very engaging.  Kingston University Sports Performance Award Evening 

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