Karen Pickering

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Karen Pickering
Personal information
Full name Karen Denise Pickering
Nationality British
Born (1971-12-19) 19 December 1971 (age 42)
Brighton and Hove, East Sussex
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
Club Ipswich Swim Club

Karen Denise Pickering MBE (born 19 December 1971 in Brighton) is a former freestyle swimmer from Great Britain, who made her international senior debut in 1986. She was first selected to represent her country at the European Junior Championships. Pickering competed in four consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1992.

She won her first medal in 1993, at the inaugural 1993 FINA Short Course World Championships in Palma de Mallorca, where she won the gold medal in the 200 m freestyle. With that performance Pickering became Britain's first Swimming world champion.

She was a member of the British swimming squad from 1986 to 2005 and has a collection that includes 8 World Championship medals (4 gold), 14 European Championship medals, 38 National Championship titles, and a Commonwealth Games medal haul of 13 including 4 gold. The 2002 Commonwealth Games saw Karen win three medals, two gold and one silver, in front of her home crowd, a career highlight which was crowned with the honour of carrying the English flag at the closing ceremony.

For her services to swimming Karen was awarded an MBE in the 1994 New Years Honours List.

Pickering is now the Sports Ambassador for Ipswich in Suffolk and chairs the British Athletes Commission.

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