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Chris Waddell

Chris Waddell

Keynote Speaker: Paralympic Sit-Skier & Wheelchair Track Athlete

Chris Waddell Biography

Chris Waddell is an American Paralympic sit-skier and wheelchair track athlete. He was a promising able-bodied skier while attending Middlebury College in Vermont, before a skiing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

As a sit-skier, Waddell won medals in the 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2002 Winter Paralympics. As a wheelchair track racer, he represented the USA at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Summer Paralympics. He won a silver medal in the 200m T53 event at the Sydney Paralympic Games. In 2004, he set a T53 world record time for this distance which still stands today.

In 2006, Waddell was inducted into the National Disabled Ski Hall of Fame by Disabled Sports USA. In 2010, he was inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame.

On Wednesday, September 30th 2009, Waddell became the first paraplegic to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He was named the 2010 Shining Star of Perseverance Honoree by the WillReturn Council of Assurant Employee Benefits to honor and recognize individuals and groups who overcome disabilities to succeed in the workplace and society.

In 2015, Waddell released his first book, Things I Want to Remember Not to Forget, a book based on his Middlebury College Commencement Speech that landed him on NPR's list of The Best Graduation Speeches, Ever. He has written three children’s books, including 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, Waddell 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.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Chris Waddell and other top speakers and celebrities.

Chris Waddell Speaking Topics

Resilience

My motto is “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you,” which applies equally to living life in a wheelchair, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in a handcycle, winning a ski race, or anything else. Things are going to go wrong. Successful people are often just those who struggled a little longer and little better.

Flipping Limitations

My mission is to turn perception of disability (yours, mine, ours) upside down so that we can realize our dreams and live fully. That means removing the reason(s) we can’t. And it means learning from each other. Adaptation is our greatest, most fulfilling, and most underutilized ability. We refuse to start. We refuse to take the risk. We refuse to become the change we want to be. We all love the underdog, but we don’t like to be the underdog. Can we embrace the role flip that perception of limitations?

Choose Healthy for Our Greatest Strength

When I was in the hospital after my accident, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t workout, I couldn’t affect anything other than how I looked at the situation. I call it realizing possible, which is staying in the moment and resisting the urge to panic or quit—essentially winning the moment with myself. My refrain became, how can I be healthy? My greatest trauma helped me tap into my greatest strength by giving myself the best environment to succeed. How can we make choosing healthy and realizing possible the foundation of our personal and professional lives?

Own Your Confidence

As an athlete and fan of sports, I remember my heroes stating that success was 90-95% mental, but what did that mean? In my eyes, it meant that they were tough, but it also sounded like either you were, or you weren’t. Was confidence God-given? I don’t remember anyone talking about building confidence. If it was so important, why didn’t people talk about creating confidence? Let’s make it part of our daily objective to finish the day more confident than we started. Afterall, if it’s almost entirely responsible for our success, shouldn’t we find a way to grow it?

Embracing Change

Change is the only guarantee, yet it often feels like failure because it takes us from our desired path success, which we imagine that we should be able to achieve and possess. But that’s a mirage. No matter who we are and how successful we've become, change will find us. Death, divorce, disease, bankruptcy or myriad other things have the ability to cut us to make us question what we've always believed. If we can recognize that change is part of the journey, we can remove the emotional distress to find the best strategy to deal with change.

Chris Waddell Videos

Paralympic Skier Chris Waddell: Overcoming Adversity | Connecting Point |
Chris Waddell Discusses Resilience Pt. 2
TEDxMiddlebury - Chris Waddell - Recovery

How to book Chris Waddell?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Chris Waddell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Chris Waddell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Chris Waddell or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Chris Waddell?

Booking fees for Chris Waddell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Chris Waddell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Chris Waddell?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Chris Waddell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Chris Waddell for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Chris Waddell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Chris Waddell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Chris Waddell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Sports Motivation, Olympic Sports and Athlete. The estimated speaking fee range to book Chris Waddell for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events $10,000 - $20,000. Chris Waddell generally travels from Utah, UT, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Jim Morris, Rudy Ruettiger and Coach Ken Carter. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Chris Waddell for an upcoming event.

Chris Waddell Speaking Topics

  • Resilience

    My motto is “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you,” which applies equally to living life in a wheelchair, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in a handcycle, winning a ski race, or anything else. Things are going to go wrong. Successful people are often just those who struggled a little longer and little better.

  • Flipping Limitations

    My mission is to turn perception of disability (yours, mine, ours) upside down so that we can realize our dreams and live fully. That means removing the reason(s) we can’t. And it means learning from each other. Adaptation is our greatest, most fulfilling, and most underutilized ability. We refuse to start. We refuse to take the risk. We refuse to become the change we want to be. We all love the underdog, but we don’t like to be the underdog. Can we embrace the role flip that perception of limitations?

  • Choose Healthy for Our Greatest Strength

    When I was in the hospital after my accident, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t workout, I couldn’t affect anything other than how I looked at the situation. I call it realizing possible, which is staying in the moment and resisting the urge to panic or quit—essentially winning the moment with myself. My refrain became, how can I be healthy? My greatest trauma helped me tap into my greatest strength by giving myself the best environment to succeed. How can we make choosing healthy and realizing possible the foundation of our personal and professional lives?

  • Own Your Confidence

    As an athlete and fan of sports, I remember my heroes stating that success was 90-95% mental, but what did that mean? In my eyes, it meant that they were tough, but it also sounded like either you were, or you weren’t. Was confidence God-given? I don’t remember anyone talking about building confidence. If it was so important, why didn’t people talk about creating confidence? Let’s make it part of our daily objective to finish the day more confident than we started. Afterall, if it’s almost entirely responsible for our success, shouldn’t we find a way to grow it?

  • Embracing Change

    Change is the only guarantee, yet it often feels like failure because it takes us from our desired path success, which we imagine that we should be able to achieve and possess. But that’s a mirage. No matter who we are and how successful we've become, change will find us. Death, divorce, disease, bankruptcy or myriad other things have the ability to cut us to make us question what we've always believed. If we can recognize that change is part of the journey, we can remove the emotional distress to find the best strategy to deal with change.

Chris Waddell Videos

Paralympic Skier Chris Waddell: Overcoming Adversity | Connecting Point |
Chris Waddell Discusses Resilience Pt. 2
TEDxMiddlebury - Chris Waddell - Recovery
TEDxMiddlebury - Chris Waddell - Recovery - YouTube

Chris Waddell Reviews

  • The team was great! Thank you!
    Silicon Valley Bank - Mar 30 2022

Chris Waddell News

How to book Chris Waddell?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Chris Waddell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Chris Waddell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Chris Waddell or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Chris Waddell?

Booking fees for Chris Waddell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Chris Waddell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Chris Waddell?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Chris Waddell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Chris Waddell for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Chris Waddell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Chris Waddell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Chris Waddell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Sports Motivation, Olympic Sports and Athlete. The estimated speaking fee range to book Chris Waddell for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events $10,000 - $20,000. Chris Waddell generally travels from Utah, UT, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Jim Morris, Rudy Ruettiger and Coach Ken Carter. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Chris Waddell for an upcoming event.

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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

The 2022 Speaking Industry Benchmark Report