During the 20 years Karen represented her country at senior level, she won more major Championship medals for Britain than any other female swimmer. Since retiring from competition, she is in great demand as a motivational and after dinner speaker from a range of organisations and leading blue-chip companies.
Karen Pickering is a name synonymous with swimming. One of the most successful British swimmers in the sport’s history, she made her international debut in 1986 and went on to win 35 major championship medals and 38 National titles. No mean feat for any athlete but an even greater achievement when you consider Karen did this despite breaking her back in a series car accident during the 90’s.
Among her accolades, she can include being four-time World Champion title holder, broke Two World Records and competed in 4 consecutive Olympic Games.
Arguably the highlight of her competitive career came at the 2002 Commonwealth Games where she won two gold and a silver medal and was subsequently asked to carry the English flag at the closing ceremony.
Karen retired from competition in 2005, going on to become a regular presenter on BBC Radio 5. She also commentates for Channel 4 swimming covering both able bodied and disability events, diving and open water swimming.
In addition to her media work, Karen is also a past Chair of the British Athletics Commission and is a member of the executive board of the English Institute of Sport and the BOA Athletics Commission
If this were not enough, Karen was shocked to discover the national statistics on the number of people of any age, unable to swim. To that end, she has founded the Karen Pickering SWIM Foundation. The charity not only offers a variety of swimming lessons at every level but also a variety of programmes dedicated to promoting health, fitness and rehabilitation, coupled with a consultancy service.
Karen is also an ASA Level 2 swimming teacher and is particularly proud to have founded the Splash Awards, an annual black tie event that celebrates the achievements of all elite swimmers, polo players, divers and synchronized swimmers.
Not surprisingly Karen is in much demand as an after dinner and motivational speaker. With her ability to understand the importance of both individual and team performance, Karen can adapt her presentations to suit any client, presenting in a humorous, poignant and inspirational manner.