Home » Speakers » Corporate Speakers » After Dinner and Comedy » Dame Mary Peters DBE

Dame Mary Peters DBE

Mary Peters

Mary Peters was born in Liverpool, and at the age of 11 moved to Ballymena, Northern Ireland, which she regards as her roots.

Through a strong work ethic, which remains her hallmark, Mary Peters converted a raw talent as an athlete into an international career spanning nearly two decades.  In the pentathlon and the shot she turned in performances of a consistently high standing in international competition.

*  4th in the Olympics 1964

*  2nd in the shot at the 1966 Commonwealth Games

*  1st in the Commonwealth Pentathlon in 1970 and 1974

Her career was crowned with a gold medal and world record in the pentathlon at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Since retiring from track and field, Mary Peters has continued to serve Northern Irish and British athletics, including as team manager of the British Women’s Athletic Team (1979 – 1984); as a member of the Women’s Committee of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (1995 – 1999); as President of the British Athletics Federation (1996 – 1998); and as patron of the Northern Ireland Amateur Athletic Federation.

Mary Peters has broadcast with ITV, BBC and New Zealand Radio, she has written columns in The Irish Editions of The Daily Star and The Daily Mail. She has widened her experience lecturing internationally on fitness, motivation and women in sport and on behalf of many corporate bodies.

Mary Peters was awarded the DBE in 2000 and is now the Deputy Lieutenant of Belfast.

During the London 2012 Olympics, Dame Mary Peters played a surprise role in the three-hour opening ceremony when she symbolically passed an Olympic torch to Katie Kirk, a local young athlete to inspire the next generation of athletes.


*  Represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games from 1958 – 1974

*  Represented Great Britain internationally from 1961 – 1974

*  1964 Olympic Games Pentathlon 4th

*  1966 Commonwealth Games Shot 2nd

*  1970 Commonwealth Games Pentathlon 1st, Shot 1st

*  1972 Olympic Games Pentathlon 1st World Record 4801 points

*  1974 Commonwealth Games Pentathlon 1st

*  Set 25 British Records from 1962 to 1972


*  Awarded the Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 2000

*  Awarded the CBE in 1994

*  Awarded the MBE in 1973 after the Munich Olympics

*  Irish Post Millennium Sports Hall of Fame Award 2000

*  Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Loughborough University 1999

*  Honorary Doctor of University Degree from Queens University 1998

*  Freedom of Lisburn 1998

*  Belfast Telegraph Hall of Fame Award 1997

*  British Airways Tourist Endeavour Award 1981

*  Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Award 1976

*  Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from New University of Ulster 1974

*  BBC Sports Personality Award in 1972

*  Texas Sports Award 1970 and 1972 – Hall of Fame Award 1997

*  Churchill Foundation Fellowship Scholarship 1972

Mary Peters is best known for her triumphant Athletics career.  During the years 1961 – 1974 Mary represented Northern Ireland and Great Britain winning many accolades.  Many honours, awards and trophies have been bestowed upon Mary, and the use of words like ‘Golden Girl’, ‘Legend’, and ‘Icon’ are frequently used by way of introduction at her after dinner speaking engagements throughout the world.

Dame Mary Peters is one of life’s rarities: a wonderful raconteur who speaks from vast experience with dignity and knowledge yet with caring, humility and humour.