Park City Athlete Inducted Into US Olympic And Paralympic Hall Of Fame
Park City resident and decorated Paralympian Chris Waddell will be inducted into the US Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame next week.
Waddell says the induction ceremony is on November 1st at the US Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We're going to have a big group of people,” Waddell said. “It will be a great celebration and it's fun just to see some of the other people. You mentioned the women's hockey team, two guys that I'm interested in meeting are Tommie Smith and John Carlos who are the guys from 1968 who were 1st and 3rd in the 200 meters and they did the Black Panther salute in support of civil rights. And had really kind of an excommunicated from the whole movement as a result of that. But sort of using their platform to hopefully affect a bigger good and so I'm excited to meet those guys. Just you know I mean just sort of be in the middle of the whole thing.”
Waddell says his class is the first inducted into the hall of fame since 2012 when the hall of fame took a hiatus while they are building a museum.
With 12 Paralympic medals in four Winter Paralympics Waddell is the most decorated male mono-skier in history. Additionally, he competed in three Summer Paralympics winning one medal.
Waddell is proud to be joining the company of his childhood heroes.
“As a kid the Olympics were such a huge part of my life,” Waddell explained. “We'd all be around the television which I think was a lot smaller then than they are now. But it was just a huge part of our lives. So, in some ways it's almost like being transported into the company of those heroes. People who were my heroes when I was growing up.”
In addition to his achievements as a Paralympian; Waddell also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro almost entirely unassisted a decade ago. He is celebrating the historic assent by returning to Africa.
“To celebrate that I am returning to Tanzania this year for the first time,” Waddell continued. “10-year anniversary we will do a film screening of “1 Revolution” the film of the climb. We had had a guy named Tajiri who is a porter who had lost his leg in a rockslide on the mountain. He had joined us and climbed with us and so we're going to do a film screening and I really hope that we help him become a star in Tanzania. I'll do a few of our nametags presentations, our educational program with 1 Revolution over there as well. Which is just fun. I'm excited to give that presentation over there and enjoy time and spend some time in Tanzania again.”