Four time Olympian Donna Fraser talks to Louise and Annie about her career in athletics and her fight with breast cancer in 2009. Three years later she qualified for her fourth Olympics in London.
In this eighteenth episode of the season of the Her Spirit podcast BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and BBC Triathlon presenter Annie Emmerson talk to four time Olympian Donna Fraser.
Donna started her career in athletics by winning six consecutive English Schools 200m titles and a European Junior 400m gold medal. With the support of Croydon Harriers AC, she went professional in 1996.
Donna’s athletics career spans back over a decade and has an amazing story to share on and off the track. She made a smooth transition in the Senior Athletics arena where she went on to compete for her country on numerous occasions and earned recognition as a serious World Class athlete when she came 4th at the Syndey 2000 Olympic Games, breaking the 50 second barrier for the first time.
Donna Fraser had one of her best years in 2005, where she achieved a fine 200/m400m double at the AAA Championships and was the first athlete to do so since 1945. In 2002, 2005 and 2007 she helped Britain to 4x400m relay bronze in the World Championships and became the BBC Athlete of the Year in 2005.
In 2009 Donna Fraser was forced to retire from the world of athletics due to her being diagnosed with breast cancer; in that same year, she made a life-changing decision to undertake a mastectomy. With the 2012 Olympic Games being held in London, Donna Fraser’s passion to inspire others, drove her to return to the track in 2012.
She achieved the qualifying time to compete at the Olympic trials, which was a personal goal she had set following her breast cancer ordeal.
After 19 years at EDF Energy, Donna returned to her passions in 2017, taking on a new role with UK Athletics as their Equality, Diversity & Engagement Lead and for the organising committee of the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and World Para Athletics Championships in London.
Donna is the current Vice President of UK Athletics. She is tasked with overseeing the success of the UK’s current athletes and creating the pathway for the potential world champions of tomorrow.
These podcasts have been made possible through the support of Medichecks www.medichecks.com and Sport England www.sportengland.org.
For more information on Her Spirit go to www.herspirit.co.uk and sign up and download the Her Spirit app.