Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Paralyzed Man to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
Don't tell Chris Waddell he can't climb a mountain. This week Waddell will try to become the first paraplegic, on his own power, to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.
"I want them to go, 'Wow, I never thought that was possible,'" Waddell said.
Paralyzed at 20 in a freak ski accident, Waddell went on to become the most decorated Paralympic skier ever. But still, he's tired of just being "a guy in a wheel chair."
"I was an athlete for a long time - as a Paralympic athlete, I competed in almost complete obscurity," he said. "By getting to the tallest mountain out there, they have to look at me a bit differently."
At 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa. It's a so-called walkable mountain.
But when you are paralyzed from the waist down, it's all about your arms - and your will.