Lord Chris Holmes

Britain's Most Successful Paralympic Swimmer

Chris is Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer with a tally of 9 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze. He was also LOCOG’s Director of Paralympic Integration, responsible for the organisation of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

In 2013 Chris entered the House of Lords as Lord Holmes of Richmond, focusing his time on employment, education and skills, media and sport, and the digital opportunity. He has been a member of Select Committees on Digital Skills, Social Mobility and Financial Exclusion. Chris is also Diversity Adviser to the Civil Service, non-executive director at Channel 4 and Deputy Chancellor of BPP University.

Chris sits on the Future Talent Steering Group which offers thought leadership on the future of work and how best to develop opportunities and skills for people and organisations in a changing world. Chris is also involved in various campaigns to promote accessibility and celebrate diversity, most recently chairing Channel 4’s Advisor Group for the Year of Disability (YODA).

After retiring from competitive swimming Chris worked as a journalist before qualifying and working as a commercial lawyer specialising in employment and pensions. He also took non-Executive Director roles at the Disability Rights Commission and UK Sport and was an Ambassador for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid.

In 2009 Chris was appointed Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012. In this role, Chris drew on political skills, strategic know-how and his incredible determination to deliver the most successful Paralympics ever. It worked. London 2012 was 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, incredibly, the first games to achieve worldwide television audiences in the hundreds of millions.

In recognition of Chris’s talents and contribution to the country he was invited by the Prime Minister to enter the House of Lords. Chris relishes this political role and his experiences navigating the ancient corridors of power with guide dog Lottie offer numerous entertaining anecdotes.

Chris’s legal background stood him in good stead as non-Executive Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2013-2017) where he headed up the Disability Committee and was responsible for important diversity and inclusion programmes, ranging from sport to broadcasting and precedent setting legal action concerned with the Equality Act 2010 and establishing principles around accessibility and inclusion.

Chris is supporter and patron of several charities including Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Help for Heroes and Guide Dogs.

To book Lord Chris Holmes as the keynote speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Lord Holmes is known to cover the following topics:

  • Drive & Determination
  • Peak Performance
  • The Olympics
  • The Paralympics
  • Overcoming Adversity