MEET DANNY CRATES
T46 arm amputee, 2004 Paralympic Champion, European Champion, World Champion and Paralympic World Cup winner. Danny Crates is one of the world’s most inspiring Paralympic athletes and motivational speakers.
In 1994 Danny’s promising rugby career was cut short when he lost his right arm in a horrific accident while travelling in Australia at the age of 21.
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. Danny had now taken gold at 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 unable to compete after sustaining an injury.
Danny reluctantly retired from international competition in July 2009 but has already established himself as one of Britain’s top platform motivational speakers.
In 2011 Danny completed the gruelling Deloitte Ride Across Britain, 960miles in 9 days on a bike, he ran the London marathon in 2012 and has published his autobiography, “Danny Boy”. He has also hosted his own widely acclaimed BBC radio show.
Danny has also become a leading media personality, most notably when he played a lead-presenting role during Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Most recently Danny hosted his own widely acclaimed BBC radio show as well as Ch4’s coverage of the 2013 World Athletics in Lyon.
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 audiences with his easy-going nature and indefatigable optimism.
"Danny Crates was one of the most inspirational guests at our recent Power to Perform week. His talk was incredibly inspiring and applicable to everybody, proving that no hurdle in life is impossible to overcome. His charm, humour and honesty were met with approval by a very engaged audience and I know that each person left having been motivated and touched by Danny’s unique story."