Danny Crates, a former Paralympic gold medalist, World champion, European champion, Paralympic World Cup winner and world record holder, has an amazing story to share.
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 rugby, 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, as a natural speedster, he was quickly competing with the best in the world in the 400m T46 arm amputee class.
Danny made his international debut in the 1998 World Championships, reaching the 400m final and winning a silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay with a new European record time. By 2000 Danny was becoming established as an international athlete and was narrowly beaten into the bronze medal position in the 400m at the Sydney Paralympics.
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 which 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 then set his sights firmly on the 2006 World Championships. After winning there, Danny could claim to have taken gold every major meeting in paralympic athletics. As he likes to put it, this was “the icing on his career cake.”
Danny has always maintained a positive outlook on life since his accident, including returning to Australia with a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study diving for the disabled. 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.
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.
But Danny has not sat back with his feet up since. In June 2011 he completed the gruelling Deloitte Ride Across Britain, 960miles in 9 days on a bike, he will run the London marathon in 2012 and has 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 young schoolchildren to seasoned corporate executives – engaging any audience with his easy-going nature and indefatigable optimism. As a winner and achiever, Danny is an excellent speaker and motivator. His vast experience of making keynote speeches, along with a natural charm, humour and ability to tailor his delivery to suit the needs of the client provide the additional impact required to make any event or conference one to remember.
Danny is available for:
Event Hosting, After Dinner speeches, Award ceremonies, Business and corporate events, Motivational speaking Presentation evenings Product endorsements.