Life has not always been sunshine and roses for imminently successful Norwegian skier and BASE jumper Karina Hollekim. She knows what if feels like to reach the pinnacle of success and have it taken away from her in a few minutes.
Karina, as a child, used to dream of flying like a bird. Skiing with her father as a young child gave her this feeling. She went on to follow her dream and passion and started a career as a professional skier and BASE jumper. Her success led to her becoming the first, and only, woman to combine skiing and BASE jumping. Her success led to sponsorships, taking part in competitions, appearing in films and magazines, and various documentaries. Life was perfect. And then things changed – dramatically.
Life, for Karina Hollekim, made a turn-around when, at the August 2006 paragliding World Cup, her parachute did not open properly. This resulted in her spinning towards the earth at sixty miles per hour with no way of halting or slowing her descent. She crashed into the ground, hitting a rock as she did so. Her legs were broken in twenty-one places. Karina was told that she would never walk again.
Karina, however, despite what she was told, was determined to heal. She had always lived for challenges. She now faced the biggest challenge of her life.
With much determination, and despite serious infections and twenty operations later, Karina not only learned to walk again, but has gone on to once more take part in skiing and living her life of sport and adventure.
Karina put down her story in her successful autobiography, “The Wonderful Feeling of Fear”. An award-winning biographical documentary “20 Seconds of Joy” also encapsulates her life, her accident, and her extraordinary comeback.
Karina Hollekim has, since her accident, become a sought-after speaker, coach, and performance consultant. Her clients include professional athletes and top business executives. Her main focus is on how to harness setbacks, push boundaries, remaining focused on your goals, and exploiting the lessons encountered during hardship in order to win.
"Karina’s session was amazing!!!!! I must admit that I was not prepared at all for such a strong story, and she presented it in such a positive and inspiring way. I was stunned by her authenticity, openness, positivity and determination. The team enjoyed a lot the session (so did I), and on a personal level, I learned a lot from it. Since the session, I have been thinking quite a lot of what has been said and I have started to see things in a different perspective, and take baby steps 😊 THANK YOU!"
"Thank you Jonathan and Anne-Sophie. Echoing what Anne-Sophie mentioned, it was indeed a powerful session that the team picked up quite a number of take aways that will empower them in terms of managing their challenges and opportunities. It actually provided a very good, meaningful segue into our contract management workshop which followed the session. The team was very much inspired about positivity and the power of little changes which Karina’s experiences highlighted. Big thanks to Karina and your team indeed 😊"
“Very few people in the world can create this incredible life filled with personal victories and global exposure. Listening to you carrying a new life within I had tears rolling down my face as I was inspired to the greatest levels with your accomplishments, intentions, dreams and goals. Thank you for giving the world an awakening it so badly needs.”
“I have seen Karina's speech twice already... and it was equally exciting the second time around. Everybody was excited and her story was the big topic at the dinner table at night.”
“Karina really inspired us on how to practice through small changes and how the details actually make a difference for a long-term goal. She challenged us profoundly and gave us a mindset to bring back to our everyday work.”