Lauren Burns

Sport | Martial Arts, Motivational

Taking up Taekwondo as a young girl out of mild curiosity, Lauren Burns is now Australia’s first Olympic Gold Medallist in the sport. As one of only three individual Australian female Olympic gold medalists, Lauren emerged as one of the most successful Olympians from the Sydney 2000 Games.

Lauren’s victory brought the Australian public and Olympic crowd to its feet.  The beautiful daughter of former Australian entertainer, Ronnie Burns, was ecstatic when she realised she had defeated Cuba’s Ubia Melendez Rodriguez and created Olympic history. Lauren had to shed weight, overcome numerous injuries and operations and make many personal sacrifices to win gold. “But in the long run, it was all worth it!”

Before her Olympic triumph, few knew that Lauren had been 12 times Australian Champion and had achieved a string of international titles, including medals at world championship level. Lauren’s gold medal has put Australia on the map as a major international competitor for the sport of Taekwondo. Since its inclusion in the Olympics, Taekwondo participation has increased 70% in Australia alone.

Lauren’s popularity has also grown enormously. She has captivated audiences across all mediums including The Panel, Australian Story, Burke’s Backyard and Roy & HG. Lauren has also made a name for herself as one of Australia’s finest speakers.

Alongside strong corporate affiliations, Lauren conducts active and motivational presentations and workshops, transforming her stories and experiences into life skills. She talks about what it takes to be successful and interacts with a wide range of audiences in a fun manner - and even has someone, if not everyone, break a board!

Since officially retiring from Taekwondo, Lauren has also written a book “Fighting Spirit” which was listed as the Number One sports book in the Sydney Morning Herald, she was part of Seven’s Olympic Commentary team for Athens and will be again this year in Beijing and has been involved in a number of campaigns, such as Ozemail’s Broadband campaign where she soared over city skylines in a striking advertising campaign.

Lauren is an ambassador for Red Dust Role Models which is a program that endeavours to enrich the lives of indigenous youth through sport, healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition & education via visits to communities throughout the year in a two way exchange of culture and learning experiences. Lauren recently completed an Applied Health Science Degree majoring in Naturopathy. She manages her own website and is interested in a career in film and television, particularly the martial arts genre. With an abundance of talent and her vibrant personality, it is inevitable that the Australian public will see Lauren Burns for many years to come.


12 times Australian Champion

Sydney Olympic Games
Gold medalist

US Open
Silver medalist

US Open
Gold medalist

Canadian Open
Bronze medalist

World Championships
Bronze medalist

World Cup
Bronze medalist


“A young, energetic and articulate person, Lauren was well spoken, talked to the audience, gave colourful examples which made the audience laugh, as well as making our function a success.”

“Lauren spoke in a way that captivated and involved everyone, forcing us to admire and respect her commitment to all aspects of her life. I would love to involve Lauren in other Ernst and Young events and believe she would do just as an exceptional job in hosting or speaking at any event for us.”
Ernst and Young