A professional freerider and base jumper for the Red Bull team, first woman ever to do ski base.
In august 2006 her life was shattered by an almost fatal accident. Doctors told her that she would never walk again and would be on a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Against all possible predictions, she re-learnt how to walk and incredibly re-learnt how to ski.
“What can possibly go wrong?”
Fear of change
Team and leadership
Karina had a dream as a child, she wanted to fly like a bird. She was taught as a toddler that when she was in fear, she’d need to look “up” and that is what she did, all along into becoming a professional skier and BASE jumper. Karina is a female pioneer, being the first woman in the world to perform a ski base.
For over a decade Karina was a professional athlete for Red Bull performing both as a big mountain skier and Base jumper.
A perfect dream come true, a perfect life until something goes wrong with her parachute, changing her life dramatically.
In August 2006 at the paragliding world cup in Switzerland she and a group of friends were invited to do an exhibition jump. It was just going to be a routine flight in wing suits sailing away from an airplane to entertain a crowd of thousands below. Flying high overhead she couldn’t have been more happy.
Karina made the jump from a small plane and carved turns through the sky in her wing suit. As she flew she filmed the others with a camera mounted on her helmet. When Karina pulled the ripcord her parachute deployed, but there was a malfunction. With no way to break her fall she hit the ground, her body sprawled across a huge boulder.
It had been a near-fatal crash, over the lifted noses of thousands of people. She hit the ground at over 100 km/h (60 mph), and her legs were fractured in 21 places. Although doctors said she would never walk again, after 20 surgeries she has recovered. She has had to relearn to walk, but she has returned to skiing (2007) and is living life to the fullest today.
Her biographical movie 20 Seconds of Joy won both the Best film on Mountainsports as well as the People’s choice awards at the 2007 Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Karina is now an international keynote speaker, author. Her autobiography ‘The Wonderful Feeling of Fear’ is internationally published and her speech is part of the exclusive group of TEDx talks. She is also a life coach. Karina’s coaching skills comes from a background in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Active Commitment Therapy. Her ability to push boundaries, stay focused and power to re-mobilize through hardship, are core qualities she transmits through her coaching and speaking.