Paralympic athlete delivers strong message in Goshen
Paralympic athlete Chris Waddell with Goshen Center School students during his visit on April 11. ~ BZ photo
Famed Paralympic athlete Chris Waddell of Park City, Utah, visited Goshen Center School April 11 to show students that disabilities can be overcome.
Waddell’s legs were paralyzed in a skiing accident 30 years ago, but through determination he battled back to become a champion Paralympic mono skier for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.
Goshen Center School’s Parent-Teacher Organization brought Waddell to the school. He also visited the James Morris School in Morris and Warren School.
Competing in four Paralympic Games over 11 years, Waddell won 13 gold medals with the U.S. Disabled Ski Team. He cruised down hills on a mono ski, a one-blade ski that is sat on.
Waddell’s message to students was simple: Don’t give up when it appears the odds are against you and don’t be afraid to take risks.
“It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you,” Waddell said repeatedly during his presentation.
After retiring from competitive skiing, Waddell took on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya without assistance. He used a four-wheel hand cycle to pull himself up the 19,341-foot mountain and nearly made it to the top before needing help to get through a field of large boulders. He was attempting to become the first paraplegic to reach the top of the mountain unassisted.