BORN MAY 17TH 1960 in Adelaide, South Australia, the youngest daughter of Bill and Shirley Young, she began as a figure skater and changed to speed skating. She competed in short track speed skating in eight World Championships, 1984 to 1991 and 1993.
At 28, she competed at the 1988 Calgary Olympics short track speed skating demonstration events. Then at 31 in Albertville in France in 1992, when short track was a full Olympic sport, she broke the world record in the 500m event, but unfortunately was disqualified.
In 1994, at 33 years of age, she competed in the 500m and 1,000m events at the Lillehammer Games. She just scraped into the first quarter final of the 500m where she finished third and was eliminated in Heat One. She ranked 12th overall on a best time of 47.90. In the 1,000m she finished fourth in the quarter final, placed 11th overall on a best time of 1:39:93.
She married hockey player Wayne Gardiner then re-married to Olympic speed skater, John Kah, brother of Danny who was also an Olympic speed skater. All three competed at the same Olympics. All three were also inducted to the Australian Ice Racing Roll of Honour. In 2014, Karen was the recipient of a Certificate of Merit awarded to 145 South Australian women during the Women's Suffrage Centenary.
In 2016, her daughter Jamie was one of the premier jockeys in South Australia at the age of 20, riding one hundred winners for the season. It was a feat she had already achieved as a 17 year-old apprentice, claiming the Adelaide jockey's premiership in the same season.
Ross Carpenter, 'Kah, Karen', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio-kah.html, accessed online .
1. Australian Ice Racing (AIR) Roll of Honour, 2014