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Keynote speaker Mike Schlappi has an inspiring message for every American, young or old: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.”
As president of Mike Schlappi Communications, and confined to a wheelchair, he is spreading that word to audiences ranging from students to chief executive officers, from rookies to Olympic champions, and from small gatherings to major conventions.
At the age of 14, Schlappi was student body president, had been awarded his Eagle Scout and was a competitive athlete when he was involved in a tragic shooting accident. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but after months of rigorous therapy, he began playing basketball from his wheelchair and went on to become an athletic standout.
Schlappi is a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time World Champion in Wheelchair Basketball. The only wheelchair basketball player in the United States to be on four consecutive summer Paralympic teams, Schlappi was honored by the state of Utah in 2000 as one of its Top 50 athletes of the past century. He served on the board of trustees that managed the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake. He is the founder and director of the Wheelchair Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves disabled athletes.
Off the basketball court, Schlappi graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration and Healthcare from Arizona State University, and on a leadership scholarship, earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from Brigham Young University. His personal experiences with nurses, doctors and therapists not only saved his life, but also pointed him to a career in healthcare. He spent many years as the Director of rehabilitation for Intermountain Healthcare. Schlappi is also a writer and author of three popular inspirational books which draw heavily on his own experiences and the challenges he’s overcome: Shot Happens, Bulletproof Principles for Personal Success and Motivational Leaders.
He has won numerous honors including the American Medical Association’s Special People Award, The Sporting Goods Manufacturer of America’s Heroes Award and the Golden Key Athlete of the Year Award. Mike has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame for Wheelchair Basketball and the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.
He was the best we've had in a LONG time! Would give him an A+ for the presentation and would recommend him to anybody! Tennessee Association of Realtors
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