Somewhat an expert in overcoming challenges, Karen Darke finds much of her inspiration through outdoor adventure. She was a keen runner and mountaineer before becoming paralysed in a rock-climbing accident and has since pursued alternative ways to access the outdoors and become a successful Paralympic athlete.
Karen has hand-cycled in various corners of the world, including Central Asia and the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the length of the Japanese archipelago. She has co-organised expeditions sea kayaking along the coastlines of British Columbia and Alaska, skiing across the Greenland icecap, climbing the kilometre-high vertical rock-face of El Capitan, and kayaking through the fjords of Patagonia.
Karen competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games winning the silver medal in the H1-2 time-trial. She has continued her success in the 2016 Rio Paralympic games, turning her silver medal into a gold in the H1-2-3.
As a coach and facilitator, author and speaker, Karen works regularly with young people, schools, businesses and other organisations particularly on the subject of challenge and change. She is currently a full-time athlete with the British Paracycling Team, won a silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics, was World Paratriathlon Champion in 2012 and silver medallist in 2013, and in 2014 completed an Ironman distance triathlon, the backdrop to the film ‘IMPOSSIBLE’.