Paralympic Champion Chris Waddell becomes the first paraplegic to summit Kilimanjaro

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 4, 2009 10:27 pm

After several months of training and preparation, Paralympic Champion and U.S. Adaptive Ski Team phenom Chris Waddell made history—again. On September 30, Waddell became the first paraplegic to summit the 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. And now the new hero is on his way home to the States.

Waddell’s climb lasted a grueling six days, of which the superstar athlete blogged on his Web site, Waddell’s team included a film crew who will turn the trek up the popular Marangu route (also known as the Coca Cola route) into a feature-length documentary. Surely the film will inspire all, as Waddell himself continues to do.

“Chris’ accomplishment will bring greater awareness to the Paralympic movement,” said U.S. Adaptive Ski Team Coach Ray Watkins. “It’s not just about our U.S. Adaptive Ski Team, but about the Paralympic movement as a whole!”

“He has done something that very few people in this world have done,” added U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Adaptive Program Director Sandy Metzger. He’ll do a lot to show what disabled people can do.”

Waddell was recently asked to be a representative on the United States Ski and Snowboard Association Board of Directors for adaptive skiing, something Metzger looks forward to. “He was alw

ays a wonderful person to have on the team, a terrific attitude,” expressed Metzger. “He has an infectious personality and when he meets people they’re just drawn to him.”

For more information about Waddell’s Kili climb, visit