Karen Darke - Going For Gold At The Paralympicsby Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH Aug/2012
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"I'm in the form of my life, I've trained really well and I just hope it's enough to do the British team proud."
Halifax born Karen was paralysed from the chest down in a climbing accident when she was 21. Prior to her accident she was a keen climber and runner, having climbed Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, and won the Swiss KIMM Mountain marathon.
Since her accident on the Aberdeen sea cliffs she has biked over the Himalaya and across Japan, skied across Greenland, climbed El Cap, kayaked the inside passage to Alaska and is the British Para-Triathlon Champion. Karen has a PhD in geology and has written two books: If You Fall: It's a New Beginning and the recently published, Boundless.
Karen started hand-biking seriously in 2009 and soon began racing and was chosen to join the GB Para-Cycling team. She won bronze in the Para-Cycling World Championships in Denmark and silver in four Para-Cycling World Cup events.
She has trained hard for the last four years, she missed the last Paralympics Games due to skin damage during a month-long sea-kayaking adventure.
Karen told the Guardian , "I'm in the form of my life, I've trained really well and I just hope it's enough to do the British team proud."
VIDEO: Karen Darke by Andy Kirkpatrick
Watch Karen at the Paralympic Games
Karen will be competing in the road race and time trials which take place from September 5-8. You can see the schedule at www.london2012.com.
Best of luck Karen from all at UKClimbing.com and UKHillwalking.com.
And Next For Karen
When that is over she will be doing an Iron Man Triathlon and visiting the South Pole, on skis!
And: 15th - 18th November 2012 Karen will be appearing at this years' Kendal Mountain Festival.
You can read more about Karen at karendarke.com
Karen is sponsored by Berghaus, dana petroleum, Braun and Back Up.