The Roar
The Roar



Where are they now? 2000 Olympic champion Lauren Burns

Lauren Burns of Australia with the Gold Medal she won in the Women's under 49Kg catagory at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games at the State Sports Centre in Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Tony Feder/ALLSPORT
Roar Guru
19th August, 2021

Having the title Dr next to one’s name has a nice ring too it. So does Olympic Champion.

Dr Lauren Burns, 2000 Taekwondo Olympic Champion, now has both.

It’s been 21 years since Dr Burns famously beat Cuban Urbia Melendez in the 49kg flyweight Olympic Final at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Life has been busy since then, with Dr Burns becoming a mum, a business woman, building a career in naturopathy and being a motivational speaker. She recently completed her PhD at RMIT University.

“I am living in Melbourne with my husband and two gorgeous kids,” explains Dr Burns, now 47. “I have been mainly doing speaking engagements for the last 25 years while also running1:1 nutrition and lifestyle coaching consultations with individual clients.

“I have just finished my PhD on Lifestyle and Mindsets of elite athletes. This was hugely rewarding and great to see our research being used now in real world application.”

Inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle is something Dr Burns has been passionate about since her retirement. She has written several books; her autobiography and a cookbook.

She has developed a nutritional programs for Melbourne childcare centres Nino Early Learning. She is also an advocate for social causes, supporting the Red Dust Role Models and being an ambassador for charitable organisation World Vision.

Lauren Burns of Australia with the Gold Medal she won

Lauren Burns of Australia Mandatory Credit: Tony Feder/ALLSPORT


Not one to forget her sporting roots, Dr Burns is involved in the AIS’s Gold Medal Ready program. Admitting she thrived in her role working with athletes again, after retiring from taekwondo straight after winning Gold in Sydney.

“I have been working with GMR to assist those athletes going to Tokyo and preparing for Paris” she explained. “I never thought I’d actually be back working with athletes.”

“I needed a break after finishing my sport. I’ve come full circle and really I’m enjoying working with athletes again.”

While Australia and the world has experienced periods of lockdown during the COVID19 pandemic, Dr Burns says she has tried to focus on the positive and make the most of it.

“We are lucky we live in the bush and have gorgeous views. It’s not ideal being in lockdown but we know what to do and how to focus on the things we love about lockdown and that make it easier for us, such as moving our bodies or cooking recipes that require a slower pace.”

“We have had huge changes in our lives since Covid, I mainly do corporate speaking and my husband works in hospitality so we were on the front line of change, our business’ have needed to adapt and pivot. But we are incredibly grateful for what we have. I am doing virtual presentations and not travelling so much has allowed me to see more 1:1 clients which I love.

“The kids have been absolutely amazing and I am really grateful for the time I have with them at this point in their lives. They are in grade five and Year 7 and I probably wouldn’t get to spend this much time usually with them, just hanging and doing stuff. I’m trying to make the most of this time. It’s been really nice actually.”