Jul 17, 2014 • 19M

#65: Skier Flips Perception Of Disability, Proves Capability

 
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Devin Thorpe
Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
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July 10, 2014 - Read the full Your Mark on the World article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/U4RYHb. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwitunes or on Stitcher by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwstitcher. Chris Waddell, world-class athlete and founder of One Revolution, is turning perceptions of disability upside-down. Chris was a competitive skier in college when he broke his back, rising to become the most decorated mono-skier in men’s Paralympic history. He launched One Revolution to redefine disability. More about Chris: Chris Waddell always thought that the lessons he learned in sports would provide the foundation for later success. As a ski racer at Middlebury College in 1988, he had no idea how profoundly one moment could change and paradoxically enhance that conviction. On December 20th his ski popped off in the middle of a turn. He fell, broke two vertebrae, and damaged the spinal cord. Paralyzed from the waist down he learned and achieved more than he could have imagined. He returned to college just two months after the accident, started monoskiing in less than a year and was named to the US Disabled Ski Team a little more than two years after that paradoxical moment. With 12 Paralympic medals, he became the most decorated male monoskier in history. Also a track athlete, he’s one of a handful to have won World Championships in both the winter and the summer. He competed in four Winter Paralympics winning 12 medals and three Summer Paralympics winning a silver medal in the 200 meters in Sydney. In World Championship competition, Waddell won 9 total medals: four gold, one silver, one bronze; six in the winter and three in the summer. Waddell was inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Paralympics Hall of Fame. The Dalai Lama honored him as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion”. People Magazine named him one of the “Fifty Most Beautiful People in the World.” Skiing Magazine placed him amongst the “25 Greatest Skiers in North America.” Middlebury College presented him with a Doctorate in Humane Letters. In September of 2009 Waddell became the first paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro almost entirely under his own power. His team carried him for approximately 100 feet of the 19,340 mountain. The film documenting the climb has won awards throughout the world. He has appeared on Dateline, Oprah and 20/20. He is the founder of the One Revolution Foundation and speaks throughout the country sharing his universal message, “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.” Currently Waddell resides in Park City, Utah where he can be seen out and about keeping fit on his hand cycle and racer. He travels the country year round presenting the Foundation’s Nametags school program, speaking to corporate groups and screening the documentary. Waddell is working on a book to chronicle his journey while also planning his newest adventure – a cross country bike tour to highlight the foundation. He also continues to be actively involved with the Paralympics as an ambassador for the International Paralympic Committee and is a color analyst for the Games. Highlights Dalai Lama Unsung Hero of Compassion Thirteen Paralympic medals World Champion in both winter and summer sports Most medals of any American male Paralympic skier Doctor of Humane Letters, Middlebury College First Ambassador International Paralympic Committee Founder One Revolution Foundation First unassisted paraplegic to summit Mt Kilimanjaro Paralympic Hall of Fame US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame People Magazine “50 Most Beautiful People” Skiing Magazine “25 Greatest Skiers in North America”