In June, she came out as gay, after living a ‘secret life’ for decades.
And on Monday, Dame Kelly Holmes admitted that she didn’t know how she would ever meet a lesbian before coming out as gay, and feared potential love interests might ‘want to go public.’
The athlete, 52, was speaking on Loose Women when she discussed how difficult it was for her to pursue romantic relationships when her sexuality was a closely guarded secret.
Real talk: On Monday’s Loose Women, Dame Kelly Holmes, 52, admitted that she didn’t know how she would ever meet a gay woman, before coming out
Discussing if you can ever be too in love, Kelly mused: ‘I’ve had different circumstances as I wasn’t out, so my relationships have been…
‘I didn’t know how to meet people or how I would ever meet a gay woman as I couldn’t publicly do it.
‘I would circumstantially meet people through friends and convince myself they’re right as i didn’t want to be lonely, and then i would think ”nah no way.” I would think if I got too attached they would want us to go public.
‘I feel like love is blind and it’s… the world is full of rainbows and butterflies but that diminishes the faults.’
Love chat: The athlete discussed how difficult it was for her to pursue romantic relationships when her sexuality was a closely guarded secret
Dame Kelly’s admission comes a few months after she first spoke about her sexuality as she declared she ‘finally felt free’ after years of living a ‘secret’ life.
The Olympic runner admitted she was ‘fully aware’ of rumours about her sexual orientation but is now happy to be coming out ‘on her own terms’.
Speaking to the Mirror, she said: ‘There have been lots of dark times where I wished I could scream that I am gay – but I couldn’t.’
Difficult: ‘I didn’t know how to meet people or how I would ever meet a gay woman as I couldn’t publicly do it’ confessed the star
‘I needed to do this now, for me. It was my decision. I’m nervous about saying it. I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement. Sometimes I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I’m essentially getting rid of that fear.’
Dame Kelly confirmed she has a partner but didn’t want to give any further details, admitting it is the first time she hasn’t introduced someone as a ‘friend or PA’.
She explained how her family and close friends have known for years she is gay but she worried about being in trouble for breaching retrospective rules in the Forces.
‘Finally free’! The Olympic runner first spoke about her sexuality for the first time in June, as she declared she ‘finally felt free’ after years of living a ‘secret’ life (pictured 2004)
At the time, the forces had a ban on LGBT soldiers, which was only lifted in 2000. Kelly had relationships with other women during her 10 years in service.
Kelly, who chose to come out during Pride month, told how she first realised she was gay when she kissed another female soldier at the age of 17.
After the kiss, Kelly recalled writing to her stepdad who she shares a close relationship with to explain what had happened.
She was ‘confused and scared’ but Kelly revealed her stepfather accepted her straight away before coming out to the rest of her family in 1997.
Career: Kelly said she dated one woman between the ages of 27 and 32 but broke off the relationship in 2002 so she was able to focus on the Athens Olympics
Touching on her previous relationships with women, she said: ‘No disrespect to them, but the relationships have only been a small part of my life.
‘They haven’t been in this fearful world with me for 34 years.’
Kelly, who was made a Dame in 2005, said she dated one woman between the ages of 27 and 32 but broke off the relationship in 2002 so she was able to focus on the Athens Olympics.
And even her massive achievement of winning gold at the 800 and 1,500 metres at Athens were ruined due to her fears of being outed.
Historic: Kelly, who chose to come out during Pride month, told how she first realised she was gay when she kissed another female soldier at the age of 17 (pictured during her time in the Army)
Before the 2003 World Championship finals, Kelly said she hit an all time low and self-harmed, recalling how she had ‘no control’ over herself.
Kelly didn’t ask for any support at the time out of fear she would be dropped from the Olympic team.
In 2018, Kelly was made an Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment, which she viewed as another barrier for her coming out.
After suffering a breakdown in 2020, she made a call to a LGBTQ+ leader to question if she could still face repercussions over her Army relationships.
When she was reassured that she wouldn’t get in any trouble with the Forces, Kelly revealed she felt like she could ‘breathe again’.
Army: Dame Kelly in her Colonel role at Trooping the Colour