The Everest Lecture

To our great pleasure, Karen Darke visited the College on Thursday 4th July to give a fascinating and inspirational talk as this year’s Everest Lecturer. Karen is an adventurer, Paralympian and currently a full-time athlete.

After an accident in her early twenties, Karen was paralysed, breaking her neck, back, arms, skull – and the list goes on. Her six months in hospital and overall recovery period did not seem to be much of a time for self-pity or despair, as just soon after, she began hand-biking and since has won a silver and gold medal in the two most recent Olympics. She has not restricted herself to just hand-biking though. After completing a nerve-wracking first climb since her accident, she has continued this hobby and has even spent three months sea-kayaking from Vancouver, Canada to Alaska.

It was clear that Karen never started sports for the aim of winning competitions, but for enjoyment, as a hobby, and only has recently started to consider herself a full-time athlete. Karen’s resilience and motivation has allowed her to push past her injury and continue to excel in sport. Her attitude towards life and sport has given us all an idea of the importance of your perspective in achieving aims and aspirations.

In addition to her sporting achievements, she has begun to inspire people to accomplish their goals, sporting or otherwise. Since winning the 79th medal for Britain in the Olympics in Rio, Karen has become quite attached to the number and has encouraged many people to complete a personal challenge of any kind with reference to 79. This summer is the perfect opportunity to engage in this challenge.

Review by Cameron Bell (MO L6)

Karen Darke – Website

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