Lance Corporal Derek Derenalagi

From the Afghanistan battlefields to the Paralympic Games


When you meet people like Derek Derenalagi you can only feel humble and in awe. When he was a Lance Corporal with the British Army’s Second Battalion The Mercian Regiment, this now highly popular Olympic speaker was at one stage pronounced dead.

He had been in an army jeep in Afghanistan when it was blown to pieces by an improvised explosive device (IED). The medical personnel went as far as getting a bodybag ready for Derenalagi when somebody detected a very faint pulse. Such is the extremely thin line between Derek achieving the amazing feats that he has and him not being here at all.

Incredibly, just five years later, this powerful Olympic speaker was not only competing in the 2012 Paralympic Games as a member of the British armed forces team but he also won a gold medal at the same year’s IPC Athletics European Championships. He has described it as “encouraging” to be competing alongside some of the other soldiers that he was in hospital with.

Despite losing both legs above the knee, Derek Derenalagi has run in the 100m and 200m and has competed in the discus and shot put disciplines. This incredibly inspirational and motivational character is also a delight to be around and is clearly loved by every audience that he has presented to.

To book Derek Derenalagi as a Paralympic speaker for your next private event, corporate event or conference, contact Champions Olympic Speakers via our online form or call us on +44 1509 85 29 27.

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