Her talent was soon recognised and she was awarded the Eva Bailey Trophy as the university’s outstanding athlete in 1996 and again in 1997.
Grainger, now 36, won her first silver Olympic medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 in the quadruple sculls. This was followed by another silver, in the coxless pairs, at the Athens Olympics in 2004. In 2008, at Beijing she won her third silver Olympic medal for the quadruple sculls.
She has also won eight medals at World Championships between 1997 and 2012, and she has triumphed in the Rowing World Cup in the quadruple sculls in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010 and the double sculls in 2010.
She and Anna Watkins are undefeated since their partnership began in 2009.
Glasgow-born Grainger completed her university education with a Master of Philosophy degree in medical law and ethics from Glasgow University and is currently studying for a PhD in Law at King’s College London.
In 2009, she was named as Scottish Sportsperson of the Year.
She is the honorary president of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association and is a member of Edinburgh rowing club, St Andrew Boat Club.
Her training is lottery-funded through UK Sport and supported by the Scottish Institute of Sport and English Institute of Sport. As a member of the GB Rowing team, she is sponsored by Siemens.
Her family moved to Netherley, Aberdeenshire, where Grainger often trained on the River Dee. They now live in Edinburgh.