Here’s something we’re very proud of. Karen Darke, Team GB representative at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, has scooped the gold medal in the H1-3 hand cycling event. It was a truly blistering performance, which saw her finishing 12.55 seconds ahead of her nearest rival. Her perseverance and will to succeed has truly placed her at the top of her sport.

How does Airospring fit into this? Well, in June of 2016, Karen approached the team at Airospring looking for a cushion to use in training. With the Paralympic Games less than three months away, she was understandably worried about developing a pressure ulcer and what it might do to her chances of glory in such a case.

The manufacturing team set about creating a custom cushion to fit Karen’s new training bike to allow her to continue to keep training hard in preparation for one of the biggest events of her life. We’re proud to say that the cushion worked wonders and she was able to confidently and comfortably get down to the hardest training of her career. The result of this training is likely still around Karen’s neck.

A history of unparalleled achievement

This champion is a true inspiration, and her bravery doesn’t stop outside of Paralympics. As a keen adventurer and outdoor enthusiast, Karen has completed a number of expeditions, many of them after the accident that saw her paralysed from the chest down.

Some of her most impressive feats include taking her handbike the length of Japan, crossing the ice cap of Greenland on sit-down skis and scaling the formidable El Capitan in Yosemite Park, California. A very impressive list of achievements, not even counting the paralympic medals.

Karen competed at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London where, on home soil, she produced a stunning display to take the silver medal. Such a feat would surely be enough for most people, but Karen Darke isn’t most people.

Fast forward four years and perched atop the podium, Karen looks like she’s at home. Even with all of the mountains climbed through the years, the first place level likely feels one of the highest peaks she’s ever scaled.

Everybody here at Airospring wishes to extend their most sincere congratulations to Karen for a truly and absolutely amazing achievement to add to her incredible collection of accomplishments. We think you’ve earned a break, but we understand if you don’t feel that way.