Canoeist, World Champion and Olympian
Anna Hemmings is best known as Britain’s most successful female canoeist ever, a two time Olympian and six time World Champion.
Anna won her first European Championship in marathon canoeing at the age of 19. She is the only British female canoeist to ever hold both European and World marathon canoeing titles concurrently, in 1999 and 2005.
Throughout her career she won a staggering 11 World and European Championship medals. Anna was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 2003 but through treatment and her positive attitude was able to make a full recovery. In 2005 she regained her status as the World’s leading marathon canoeist at the Marathon Racing World Championships in Australia and went on to win three World titles in a row.
In 2009 Anna retired from professional sport and has since set up a business called Beyond the Barriers which is dedicated to improving health and performance in individuals and organisations. Anna has also built a career as a motivational speaker. She continues to inspire audiences with her tales of triumph over adversity, sharing her experiences and knowledge with a wide range of audiences, from global corporations to schoolchildren. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Anna MBE honours in 2010 for her services to sport.
Anna has been an Ambassador for Special Olympics GB since 2008. Anna says, “I really enjoying being an ambassador for such an inspiring organisation. The athlete's motto is ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.’ This is just fantastic and is the spirit in which all sport should be played.”