Golden girl Denise wins honorary degree

Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis has been among the honours again, this time for her achievements on and off the track.

Golden girl Denise wins honorary degree

The athlete, who won heptathlon gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, came home to receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at a graduation ceremony for this year's alumni at the University of Wolverhampton.

Denise, aged 42, grew up in Wolverhampton and, 14 years after being given freedom of the city, said she was delighted at coming back to be receive another honour.

She said: "It is a privilege to be back in my city and to be recognised in this way is fantastic. I can't really put it into words but it is a proud moment. I travel all around the world but this is home and to be honoured once again is a great feeling."

Denise is one of 12 people to receive awards in recognition of their significant achievements and contribution to their field of expertise during this month's graduation ceremonies.

She gave a speech to students at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre as they received their degree, pushing the importance of hard work while studying.

Denise was educated at the Regis School in Tettenhall, later renamed the The King's School, where a £1 million sports hall named in her honour now stands.

She said: "Wolverhampton and the Midlands are moving in a positive direction and there is much more planning for the future going on within the area.

"Being here today I can see the future first hand, and if some of my words got through to just one person then that is all it takes to make a positive change."

Since her retirement from sport in 2005, Lewis has continued to be actively involved in athletics, becoming a highly respected commentator for BBC Sport.

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