Karen Gaffney Joins Open Water Luminaries At TED Talks

Karen Gaffney Joins Open Water Luminaries At TED Talks


Karen Gaffney Joins Open Water Luminaries At TED Talks

Courtesy of TEDx Talks, Portland, Oregon.

Karen Gaffney has swam across the English Channel as part of a six-person relay team and swam widthwise across Lake Tahoe to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Congress and to show what individuals with Down Syndrome can do.

She travels widely, swimming in various places and speaking to a wide range of audiences about overcoming limitations and about what can be accomplished with positive expectations. Proceeds go entirely to support the Karen Gaffney Foundation.

Gaffney said, “I really want people to understand that we’re more alike than we are different. I just want them to know about the tremendous capabilities of people with Down syndrome and I want to show them what is possible for people like me. I’ve always been good at swimming and it really helps me to stay more alert, especially in high school and college, it helped me stay awake more and more physically fit.”

Gaffney was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award in which she was voted the runner-up. Steven Munatones wrote about her, “Karen is a champion in every sense of the word: a humble heroine, a remarkable role model, a spectacular speaker. The English Channel relay swimmer has dedicated herself and the tools at her disposal to champion a journey to full inclusion in families, schools, communities and the workplace for people with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities. With dramatic open water swims to emphasize one’s potential, as well as her speeches, video tapes and resource materials, she constantly installs hope for others with Down syndrome. Her lifestyle proves a full productive and inclusive life is in store for parents and families of a child born with Down syndrome or other learning disabilities. For her swims across Lake Champlain, Lake Tahoe, in Hawaii and in San Francisco Bay, for her ability to heighten awareness and raise expectations of students, counselors, educators and those in the medical profession of the capabilities of children with Down syndrome to learn, grow and contribute in an inclusive setting, Karen Gaffey is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.”

Information on the Karen Gaffney Foundation is posted here.

Gaffney joined a number of athletes, physicians, writers and personalities who have spoken about open water swimming at TED conferences:

* Lewis Pugh
* Diana Nyad
* Maarten van der Weijden
* Ori Sela
* Vicki Keith
* Dr. Peter Attia
* Tim Ferriss
* Angel Yanagihara, Ph.D.
* Maria Conceicao
* Dr. Tim Noakes
* Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.
* Lynne Cox
* Guillaume Néry
* Dana Vollmer
* Craig Dietz
* Kimberley Chambers
* Catherine Sheridan
* Patrick Fellows
* Doug McConnell
* Amos Nachoum
* Marcia Cleveland
* Dina Levačić
* Trinity Arsenault
* Lucas Carbonaro
* Antonio Argüelles
* Srikaanth Viswanathan
* Jaimie Monahan
* Bhakti Sharma
* Gaurvi Singhvi
* Bogusław Ogrodnik
* Lynne Cox
* Karen Gaffney
* Shams Alam

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