Danny Crates

Paralympic gold medalist, World champion, European champion, Paralympic World Cup winner and world record holder and, most recently host of his own BBC radio show and the face of Channel 4′s athletics coverage at the London 2012 Paralympic games. His 39 years have seen more experiences than most people manage in a lifetime. In 1994, Danny was facing a promising rugby career when he lost his right arm in a horrific accident while travelling in Australia at just 21 years old. Undeterred Danny returned to Australia with a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study diving. Here he qualified as the world’s only one-armed scuba diving instructor, which in turn led to a job sharing a tank with 20 sharks four times a day while working at the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre.

Danny has always maintained a positive outlook on life and quickly overcame his life-changing injury to return to his first love, becoming the only known arm amputee playing club rugby in the country and receiving worldwide media attention. He soon turned his attention to athletics where he was quickly competing with the best in the world in the 400m T46 arm amputee class. After making his international debut in the 1998 World Championships, reaching the 400m final and winning a silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay, by 2000 Danny was established as an international athlete and again returned to Australia to compete in the Sydney Paralympics, where he was narrowly beaten into the bronze medal position in the 400m. Danny went on to capture the European 400m title in 2001, before making the career-defining decision to turn his attention to the 800m – a move that bore instant results as he captured both the World indoor and European outdoor titles in 2003. In 2004 he set a new world record and became Paralympic champion at the Athens games. Danny was then a key part of the successful London 2012 bid team before going on to take gold at the 2006 World Championships, meaning he had won every major title in paralympic athletics.

His athletics career continued to flourish, and Danny was looking forward to defending his title in Beijing 2008. He was given the honour of carrying the British flag at the opening ceremony, but was sadly unable to compete after sustaining an injury just before his race. Danny reluctantly retired from international competition in July 2009 but has already established himself as one of Britain’s top platform motivational speakers. Never one to rest on his laurels and always up for a challenge Danny has completed the gruelling Deloitte Ride Across Britain – 960miles in nine days on a bike. In 2012 he ran the London Marathon, and plans to do so again in 2014. He has also published his autobiography, “Danny Boy”. Simply put, Danny is one of life’s natural characters and will speak openly and from the heart. Danny shares his experiences readily with others – from schoolchildren to corporate executives – engaging any audience with his easy-going nature and indefatigable optimism.


Monday,  March 31st to Friday,  April 4th 2014

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