Katherine was born in Glasgow on the 12th November 1975. She now lives by the Thames, near to the GB Rowing Squad base. She travels home to Scotland whenever possible where her family live in Edinburgh. Her sister Sarah lives in Beverley, East Yorkshire with her partner Steph.
Katherine graduated in law from Edinburgh University, then went on to achieve an MPhil in Medical Law and Medical Ethics from Glasgow University, and is currently studying the sentencing of homicide for a PhD at King’s College, University of London.
Katherine took up rowing at Edinburgh University in 1993 and made such good progress she was awarded the Eva Bailey Trophy as their most outstanding female athlete in 1996 and again in 1997 when she won her first international Gold medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships.
She is the Honorary President of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association and is a member of Edinburgh rowing club St Andrew Boat Club and a member of Marlow Rowing Club. She is also an honorary life member of Aberdeen Boat Club.
In November 2009, Katherine was named as Scottish Sportsperson of the Year and awarded the “Emirates Lonsdale Trophy” by Commonwealth Games Scotland, the first female to win this prestigious award, and in the process leaving such Scottish sporting luminaries as Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy in her wake.
In December 2010 Katherine was excited to be awarded an honorary doctorate by The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. In June 2011 she was delighted to receive an honorary doctorate from her former university, Edinburgh University.
In 2012 Katherine’s dreams were realised when she won the elusive Olympic Gold medal alongside teammate Anna Watkins in the double sculls in London. She is Britain’s most successful female rower and the only female athlete – in any sport – to gain medals in four consecutive Olympic Games. Katherine was appointed Commander of the order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to rowing which was announced in the 2013 New Years Honours.
Since winning her Olympic Gold Katherine has been short-listed for the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, had a post box in Aberdeen painted gold in her honour, appeared on the Superstars television show and begins 2013 as a BBC pundit covering the Rowing World Cup events. She was elected to the British Olympic Associations Athlete Commission and is a Champion for the 2018 Glasgow bid to host the Youth Olympic Games.
Katherine is taking a year out from the GB Rowing Squad to complete her PhD and write an autobiography which will be published this summer. She spends her time visiting schools and sports clubs and has also developed her natural talents as a keynote/after dinner speaker in which she tells a compelling tale of the journey to success.