At age 23, Karen Van Nest lost her leg in a motorcycle accident. But that did not stop her from her athletic goals.
Karen began shooting in 1996, the year she found out about the Paralympic pistol disciplines. She was named to the national team in 1998. A year later, she won a bronze at her first international competition.
In London 2012, Karen competed at her fourth Paralympic Games, but her first as an archer. She was also on Team Canada at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in the sport of pistol shooting. Her top finish was a fourth place in Sydney, where she missed the podium by seven-tenths of a point.
In addition to shooting and archery, Karen displayed her rowing skills in 2006 when she won a bronze medal at the world championships
After Beijing, Karen experienced problems with her right shoulder and retired from shooting. It was at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games that she discovered archery after a Team Canada member invited her to watch them compete. The archery bow did not hamper her shoulder and she took up the sport. Karen made the national archery team in 2009 and has competed at three world championships (2009, 2011, 2013).
Since then she has climbed the world standings. At the 2014 Pan Am Championships she collected two medals (silver and bronze). She won silver at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games in the women's compound bow.
Karen is currently preparing for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janero, Brazil..
Welcome Karen to #TeamPilla!
- Currently Ranked 13th in the World
- Named to FIVE Paralympic Games teams (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016)
- 2016 Archery Canada - Athlete of the Year
- 2016 Pan Am Championship - Gold Medal (Womens's Compound Open)
- 2016 Para Panam Championship - Gold Medal (Womens's Compound Open)
- 2015 Parapan American Games Silver - individual compound bow
- 2014 Pan Am Championships, Bronze - compound open
- 2014 Pan Am Championships, Silver - mixed team
- 2013 World Championships 7th team
- 2013 World Championships 17th individual
- 2012 Paralympic Games 9th archery
- 2009 Member of Para National Archery Team (current)
- 2008 Paralympic Games 10th air pistol
- 2004 Paralympic Games 5th air pistol
- 2004 Paralympic Games 17th sport pistol
- 2000 Paralympic Games 4th air pistol
- 1999, 2006, 2007 Mississauga Disabled Athlete of the Year