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Karen Darke is a British Paralympic cyclist, paratriathlete, adventurer and author.
Karen Darke is a British Paralympic cyclist who completed at the 2012 London Paralympics winning a silver medal in the Women’s road time trial.
Karen Darke is paralysed from the chest down following an accident, aged 21, whilst sea cliff climbing. In 2006 she took part in an expedition which crossed Greenland’s ice cap whilst sitting on skis using her arms and poles to cover the 372 mile crossing. She has also climbed Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and El Capitan and hand-cycled the length of Japan. In 2009 she was a bronze medal winner in the Para-Cycling World Cup after which, in 2010, she became a member of the British Para-Cycling team. She has won two silver medals in the women’s H2 road race and time trial events at the 2011 Para-Cycling World Cup whick took place in Sydney.
At the 2012 Summer Paralympics, on 5 September 2012, she won a silver medal in the Women's road time trial H1–2 finishing second to Marianna Davis in a time of 33:16.09. In the Women’s road race H1-3 competition, on 7 September 2012, Darke finished fourth. After crossing the finishing line holding hands with team mate Rachel Morris, both in a time of 1:43:08, Morris was awarded the bronze medal.
In October 2012, she competed in her first ITU Paratriathlon World Championships. She won the gold medal in her TRI-1 classification.
In 2014 Darke took a silver medal in the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in South Carolina in the H3 time-trial, following it up with a bronze in the H3 road race.