Travels from United Kingdom
Danny Crates's speaking fee falls
within range: $10,000 to $15,000
After losing his right arm in a horrific car accident at age 21, Danny Crates became a world record setting Paralympic gold medalist. His impressive sprinting career spanned more than a decade, resulting in multiple honors and titles. As a speaker, he shares his story of creating opportunity out of tragedy, drawing principles that any individual or organization can apply to their own goals and journeys.
Prior to his accident, Danny already had a successful career in sports, representing the eastern counties of England in rugby. Within a year of his amputation, he returned to the field with the help and support of his teammates, gaining the attention of media worldwide as well as the attention of the Paralympic Committee, who persuaded him to retake up another sport he’d once practiced, track. He debuted internationally in the 400 meters in the 1998 World Championships and continued to train and compete until he captured the European title in 2001.
Soon after he switched to the 800 meter, in which he still holds the world record of 1:53.27 seconds set at the 2004 AAA Championships. That same year he took the gold medal in the Athens Paralympic Games. Danny went on to win every title in his division.
Outside his athletic career, Danny is the world’s only qualified one-armed scuba diver instructor. His eloquence, powerful story, and positive attitude have made him a popular media personality and highly sought-out motivational speaker.
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 expands on one of the five key elements that he believes are essential to the success of any individual or organization: understanding the motives behind your goals. “Having a goal isn’t enough. It’s no good saying I want to be retired or have my own business or be CEO or number 1 in the world. You have to understand the reasoning behind it,” Danny affirms.
He illustrates this, explaining how a fellow competitor from the Ivory Coast motivated him to be the fastest sprinter in the world. “Whenever you used to stand along with him on the start line, all the other athletes would look at each other and say, ‘Well, who gets silver today then?’ I wanted to be that athlete. I wanted to be the athlete that my rivals both feared and respected in equal measure.”
Danny discusses how he decided to continue playing sports after losing his arm in a car crash during his gap year in Australia, noting that the decision to stay in athletics was a key factor that brought normalcy back to his life. “I knew I’d never play at the same level. I surprised myself at the level I could play; I didn’t expect that,” Danny admits. “That was about showing that my life would go on. So playing rugby again, that said to me, it said to everybody else, this won’t stop me. This won’t get in my way. I’ll do what I want to do and I’ll do it the best I can.”
Danny uses a combination of personal experience and anecdotes to convey the will to win and working as part of a team. Danny understands only too well that an individual is only as good as the team behind them. During his 12 year international athletics career, Danny found that sport, like life is never a simple journey, You often have to deviate from your chosen course, but Danny is able to show that it is the journey that makes us true champions.
Business or Corporate Event
Crates calls on personal experience and anecdotes to communicate the importance of having people in an organization who are team players with the will to win. He understands that an individual is only as good as the team behind them. During his 12-year international athletics career, Crates found that sport, like life, is never predictable or simple. His key message: You often have to deviate from your chosen course, but it’s the journey that makes each person a true champion.
As a motivational speaker, Crates speaks about the commitment needed to be a winner, how to set goals, and how to achieve them. These presentations are built around Crates' unique story and his five key elements to success.
Event Hosting & Award Ceremonies
As a host or presenter, Crates brings an event to life. While sensing what an audience wants or needs, he makes sure the award recipients are the stars of the show. He is a seasoned professional when it comes to creating just the right atmosphere for an event. He is experienced in using autocue and able to run an auction. As an awards presenter, Crates always makes recipients feel special when they have their moment on stage.
Crate’s after-dinner speeches are known for their amusing content and funny anecdotes. This cheeky Brit aims to light up any event with his charm and wit.
SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?
CRATES: I want people to feel motivated and inspired to achieve their dreams and ambitions. My presentation is built around my five key elements of success and is designed so that people can apply it to their everyday lives.
SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?
CRATES: I always speak with the client prior to an event to get the information I need.
It’s important to know the size of the audience, the room set up, the average age of the audience and who will attend. For example, is everyone attending management level, or are team members present too?
Then I tailor my presentation to suit both the audience and event, so I can deliver the message that best resonates with that audience.
SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?
CRATES: I’ve traveled the world as a speaker over the last 15 years, and have had many memorable experiences.
At the British Embassy Gardens, I was the speaker at a cocktail party for the British Ambassador to Dubai.
At a three day conference, I had a huge snowball fight with senior managers from a large insurance company. It’s all in a day’s work for a motivational speaker!
That’s why I love my work—every event and experience is different.
SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?
CRATES: My messages are tailored to suit the audience, but any organization that sets targets and goals will benefit.
SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?
CRATES: I created my “5 Key Elements to Success” presentation after analyzing what it was that made me successful sometimes and unsuccessful other times. This program is where I really break down how to set goals, but most importantly how to ensure success.
Audiences always love my shark display diver story as well. I don’t think audiences would be happy if I ever left it out.
SPEAKING.COM: How do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?
CRATES: My entire presentation is built around my personal stories and experiences, demonstrating how I handled certain situations, and how I planned my sporting success. Humor plays a role in some of those stories.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients make?
CRATES: I have received a lot of feedback from delegates that have said I helped clarify an understanding of their goals. But, most importantly, I made them realize that they’re able to achieve those goals!
“Danny is an absolute gem. His professionalism and passion for sport shines through not only his presentation but also in conversations with his audience/attendees. I’ve been involved in sport at many levels and in many different environments and I must say that Danny is the most inspiring athlete I have met – he is a true gentleman and a great ambassador for Sport.”
– Janine Beacher City & Guilds
“Danny was an inspiration to everyone at the conference. Out of 900 people, Danny got 98.9% score which was the highest we have ever had.”
– Airwave conference (Celtic Manor)
“Danny was inspirational. Whether talking to children or presenting to adults he had the audience riveted, and we have already received a number of requests from other organisations keen to work with him.”
– Bob Diamond Medway 2012 Manager
“Danny Crates simultaneously charmed and inspired our audience by sharing with us the seriousness of his tenacity and will to succeed with sparkle and a terrific sense of humour! He is an inspiring and professional speaker and shows great intuition in matching the environment as a speaker. He has a wonderful personality that comes through during his speech and his contact with the audience following the speech. Feedback from our participants was overwhelmingly positive!”
– Brydie Lear GOLD (Global Organisational Leadership development) Program Coordinator
Atos Origin International BV
“Danny always presents a very positive picture of competing at international level, and captures the audience throughout the presentation with strong messages about participation in sport. He is always well prepared for each event and can be flexible and adaptable if needed. His content and delivery are always excellent and we will be using him again!”
– Russell Everard Braintree District Council
“Danny Crates – great! Worth the whole day. Please find more like this – not education, just pure inspiration – superb!”
– Essex Primary Headteachers Association
“Danny offered an inspirational and personal insight into the Olympic Experience. He was able to contextualise the event in terms of the benefits that London 2012 may bring to Colchester its people and its communities He was adaptable and understood the context and depth of presentation required.”
– Colchester 2020 Assembly
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Telling how a young carefree Essex boy comes back from losing his right arm to become a Paralympic Gold Medallist, the book covers all the lows and highs of Danny′s life. From the agony of the car crash on the other side of the World that cost him his right arm at the age of 21, through a period of introspection as he came to termswith his disability, the achievement of becoming the World′s only one armed scuba diving instructor, the glory of an athletics career spanning three Paralympic Games, and his role as an ambassador for the London 2012 bid. All told with Danny′s amiable sense of humour and indefatigable optimism, the story is one of triumph over adversity and making the most of whatever life throws at you.
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