Paralympic legend Chris Waddell is one of the greats. He is the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history, has been named the Dalai Lama’s unsung hero of compassion and was the first paraplegic to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro unassisted. Who better to look to for nuggets of wisdom on inspiration and motivation? Watch the 12-time Olympic medal winner share his advice on staying motivated and reaching the top of your mountain below:
The first piece of advice from Waddell: Find something you love. “You’re going to put yourself into it and it’s going to matter to you if you find something you love,” Chris told genConnect’s Randi Zucker.
Chris also recommends having a goal that’s bigger than yourself, which he practices daily in his work with One Revolution, a non-profit that aims to change the way the world sees people with disabilities by demonstrating the common experience of challenge.
“No matter who we are, we have a struggle,” Chris said. “And the thing is, if we can acknowledge that, maybe we can look beyond the struggle to see the individual.”
One personal struggle Chris has faced head-on is the lack of Paralympic athletes in the media.
“People didn’t necessarily know who we were, they didn’t necessarily know our story,” Chris told genConnect. “So I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2009, in some ways to get to the top of the highest place I could find and hope that people can see me and see beyond the wheelchair. And that’s what I hope also for the Paralympics. It’s an amazing sport, it’s amazing entertainment, we just have to introduce people.”
Introducing people to Olympic athletes is exactly what Samsung had in mind when creating the U.S. Olympic Genome Project, a new social media campaign which allows Facebook users to create webs of connections with athletes.
The Genome Project will give Paralympic athletes a better platform than before, Chris said. People can get introduced to Paraolympic athletes before the Games begin and uncover connections they may not know existed.
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