Chris Waddell

Chris was a ski racer at Middlebury College when he fell in a ski accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Chris was back skiing within a year, and went on to become one of the most decorated mono-skiers of all time. When Chris retired as a professional athlete, he summited Mt. Kilimanjaro on a hand cycle, in an effort to turn perception of disability upside down. He is the first paraplegic to summit Mt Kilimanjaro, nearly unassisted, on a hand cycle. Chris’ journey lives on through the documentary 1Revolution.

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In 2015, Chris released his first book, Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget, a book based on his Middlebury College Commencement Speech that landed Chris on NPR's list of The Best Graduation Speeches, Ever. Last year, he released his first of three children’s books, Is It Lonely to Be a Four- Leaf Clover, which illustrates his motto “It's not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.”

As the founder of One Revolution and Nametags, Chris presents to students throughout the world, and mentors our speaker athletes. He continues to challenge himself and push the limits of what others believe can be accomplished. Most recently, pushing the 2017 Boston Marathon and finishing with a personal best. 

My mission is to tweak your perspective just a little bit so that you see your world differently, thereby allowing you to be more productive, more efficient, more purposeful and happier. It's not what happens to you. It's what you do with what happens to you."

Highlights

  • Dalai Lama’s Unsung Hero of Compassion 
  • 13X Paralympic Medalist in Winter and Summer Games 
  • First Nearly Unassisted Paraplegic to Summit Mt Kilimanjaro 
  • World Champion in Both Winter and Summer Sports 
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Middlebury College 
  • First Ambassador International Paralympic Committee 
  • Founder of One Revolution Foundation 
  • 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” 
  • NPR: The Best Graduation Speeches, Ever (Middlebury College ’11) 
  • Personal Best Boston Marathon 2017 

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