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Ernst van Dyk
Ernst van Dyk
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Category:
Speaker
Location:
Cape Town South Africa
Preferred Language:
Afrikaans, English
Tags:
Endurance athlete,Inspiration,motivation,Personal story,Professional Speaker,Professional sportsman,Sporting celebrity
Profile:
Guest Speaker Ernst van Dyk was born in Ceres in the Western Cape in 1973 with congenital absence of both legs. Despite this Ernst demonstrated an affinity for all sports codes from an early age and was encouraged by his parents to participate in various activities – from gymnastics to swimming and even table tennis.
 
At the age of 17 Ernst had earned his national colours for swimming and went on to compete in the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics. He took fifth place in the pool, but it was reaching the semifinals in the wheelchair events that changed his career to the track events.
 
In 1993 Ernst started making his mark as a dedicated athlete. The leading manufacturer of wheelchairs and handcycles, Invacare Top End, started sponsoring Ernst in 1998. This led to a long-standing relationship with Invacare, during which time Ernst won, among others, nine consecutive Boston Marathons  – one of the world’s most prestigious wheelchair marathon. With a myriad of achievements already behind him, Ernst maintains an active sporting career encompassing wheelchair racing, handcycling, and motivational speaking. He aims to win the Boston Marathon ten times and one day complete an Iron Man challenge in under nine hours.
 
Despite all his sporting successes, Ernst insists that one of his biggest personal accomplishments was being the first person with a disability to graduate with a degree in Sports Science from Stellenbosch University. He is now an ambassador for the International Paralympics Committee and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
 
 
Career highlights
 
2012: Won a silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympics Games
Ten-times Boston Marathon Champion (2001 – 2006, 2008- 2010, 2014)
Five-times  Cape Argus Handcycling Race Champion (2008-2011)
2012: Won the Melbourne USA Handcycling Road Race ,
2011: Won the Cape Argus Handcycling Race and the World Handcycling Championships Road Race in Denmark
2010: Won the Cape Argus Handcycling Race and the UCI Handcycling World Cup Road Race in Spain
2008: Won Gold and Bronze at the Beijing Paralympics
2006: Laureus Award for Sports Star with a disability
2004: First to break 1h20 min barrier in the Boston Marathon
2004: Voted Men’s Health Man of the Year (Sports)
2004: Voted Commonwealth Sports Star of the Year
2004: Won three medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympics Games
2004: Western Cape Sports Star of the Year
2003, 2004: Recipient of the Presidential Silver Award for Sports
2002: Recipient of the Presidential Golden Award for Sports
2001, 2002: Finalist for Western Cape Sports Star of the Year
2001: First to break the 19 min barrier for 10 km in the Boston Marathon

National colours
 
2012 Paralympics in London
2008 Paralympics in Beijing
2004 Paralympics in Athens
2000 Paralympics in Sydney
1998 World Athletics Championships
1996 Paralympics in Atlanta
1994 World Athletics Championships in Berlin
1992 Paralympics in Barcelona
 
 
Fast facts about Ernst
 
Lives in Paarl, dreams about Asia
Loves his wife Suzanne, his daughters (Lexi and Sunel), his two dogs, his Koi fish and Asian food
Hates mosquitoes
On his bucket list is a Koi-hunting trip in Japan with a million to blow
Prefers chocolate to vanilla; Ferrari to Porsche
Eats out at Spur for family-friendly dining
Relaxes with family and friends
Drives a Ford or Mazda, depending on his mood
Listens to The Parlotones and 30 seconds to Mars
Watches Gladiator or 300
Remembers winning the Laureus Award in 2006
Aspires to win the Boston Marathon 10 times

Guest Speaker Ernst van Dyk was born in Ceres in the Western Cape in 1973 with congenital absence of both legs. Despite this Ernst demonstrated an affinity for all sports codes from an early age and was encouraged by his parents to participate in various activities – from gymnastics to swimming and even table tennis.
 
At the age of 17 Ernst had earned his national colours for swimming and went on to compete in the 1992 Barcelona Para
Synopsis:
PRESENTATION by Ernst van Dyk

Overcoming Adversity -  Lessons from a Life in Sport 
 
Ernst van Dyk was born with a congenital defect which resulted in the incomplete development of his legs and right arm.  Ernst is passionate about sharing his story, encouraging and motivating others to make the best of their lives. Ernst will talk about his life and the road he took to get to the top - overcoming adversity, setting goals, making sense out of setbacks, living a dream and applying to business the lessons he’s learned along the way.  It's about finding meaning in your personal life and business, and making the best of the cards you were dealt.  Spend some invaluable time in the company of one of the most consistently successful athletes South Africa has ever produced.
PRESENTATION by Ernst van Dyk

Overcoming Adversity -  Lessons from a Life in Sport 
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