Hall of Fame Class of 2009
In 1988 Chris Waddell was a promising athlete for Middlebury College when a skiing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down and changed the course of his life. In spite of this challenge, Chris found his way back within a year onto the snow with a monoski and went on to become one of the most decorated athletes in the history of the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team.
He first broke through internationally with a pair of silver medals at the 1992 winter Paralympics. In 1994 he swept the gold with four medals. By the time he retired from competition in 2002, he had 12 Paralympic medals in total and had also added a silver medal won in the 200 meter wheelchair race at the 2000 summer Paralympics in Sydney. He is one of the select few athletes who has successfully competed at both the winter and summer games.
Chris Waddell has used his determination and ability to promote his sport. He partnered with teammate Sarah Will to create an introductory program for newcomers to the sport. He has been a charismatic advocate for adaptive sports appearing in many national publications and on national television including Oprah. People magazine declared him one “of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.” He was the leading ambassador for the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee.
He continues to seek out challenges, most recently through his One Revolution Project, to successfully climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2009.
International recognition for Chris includes being named in 2008 one of 11 Paralympic Ambassadors serving as role models for youth and his recent induction, the first for an American, into the VISA Paralymp
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