Karen Darke


Paralympian Karen Darke has become an inspiration to all of those who know and follow her story. Paralysed after a climbing accident left her without any feeling from the chest down, Karen took her new life by the horns and started to forge a career as a Paralympic athlete. An Olympic speaker who has a lot to offer, especially in her role as an after dinner speaker, Karen Darke will lift and encourage people to achieve their full potential.

Claiming Silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games within the women’s H1-2 time trial event, Darke completed the grueling 16 kilometer course in an impressive 33:16.09; however it was her exploits in her final competition of the games which caught the majority of the media’s attention, and showed her for the real passionate athlete that she is.

With a matter of meters left within the race, instead of trying to sprint for the line she linked hands with fellow GB paralympian Rachel Morris; Morris had acted as an inspirational figure to Darke throughout her climb to Paralympic success, and this display of camaraderie, friendship and respect won Darke many admirers, despite it resulting in her missing out on a bronze medal.

An articulate Olympic Speaker who passionate delves further into her life story, Karen Darke isn’t afraid of a challenge; having undertaken a wide range of physically grueling adventures including Mont Blanc and hand-cycling the length of Japan- events which would prove testing for any able bodied athlete. Available as an after dinner speaker, she elaborates on these adventures and on the battles she faces as a paraplegic; delving into her exploits as an eloquent sports speaker, Karen Darke is a phenomenal addition to all events and occasions.

Turning her talents towards a new adventure as a paratriathlete, she instantly tasted success winning gold in the TRI-1 Classification at the 2012 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships. Following on from this, she managed to take silver in the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in the H3 time-trial before winning bronze in the H3 road race. Most recently, she has taken gold in the Women’s time trial H1-3 at the 2016 Rio Paralympics leading to her appointment of MBE at the 2017 New Year Honours for her services to sport.

A multi-talented sports speaker and an inspiration to everyone on the never giving up on your dreams, Karen Darke has forged an impressive reputation as an Olympic Speaker and after dinner speaker, ideal to discuss topics such as peak performance, overcoming adversity and determination.

To book Karen Darke as the sports speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below.

When at corporate events, Karen is known to cover the following topics:

  • Olympic Speaker
  • Sports Speaker
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Motivation
  • Peak Performance
  • Leadership
  • Drive & Determination

Karen’s captivating story shines a bright light on the meaning of challenge, and on the limitless capabilities of the human spirit.’ – Sir Ranulph Fiennes, polar explorer

Karen is very modest about what she has achieved since her accident. Her gentle manner means she is able to inspire and motivate others. Her can do approach is infectious. You touched many people and were simply inspirational.” – DIRECTOR OF BREATHING SPACE TRAINING CONSULTANTS

I just wanted to offer my thanks for delivering what was an excellent speech and one which left myself and, judging by the comments afterwards, others, feeling in awe, motivated and inspired by your achievements. – UNILEVER

I am writing to say a massive thank you for agreeing to speak at our conference dinner and for delivering one of the most inspirational and moving presentations I have ever heard – and I am not alone in thinking that! The feedback has been outstanding “. Thank you so much and I hope that I will get the opportunity to hear you speak again and to see you compete in the Paralympics.” – AMDIS