(ATR) Chris Waddell raced to 13 medals over an illustrious Paralympics career that spanned four winter and three summer Games. The Para skiing icon – who continues to serve the movement through his One Revolution Foundation and Living It Podcast – assessed the evolution of the Paralympics since his first Games in Albertville 1992.
Chris Waddell competing at 2002 Paralympics (USOPC)
“We didn’t have an actual real opening ceremony – our opening ceremony was on the mountain in Tignes,” Waddell tells ATR’s Brian Pinelli in the latest video edition of ATRadio. “We paraded in and there might have been some friends and family, and that was about it.
"Francois Mitterrand was there, who was then the president of France.”
The Park City, Utah resident’s seventh and final Paralympics came on the track at Athens 2004.
“Finishing in Athens, for me I got to finish where the Olympic ideal began and then eventually the Paralympic ideal very similar to the Olympic Ideal.
“To see it now and to see what happened in London, where we started broadcasting to the world and they demonstrated how great a story they can be.
“It continues to get better, but it’s an incremental change. It’s getting really good, but at the same time there is still more to do.”
Waddell is a member of the Salt Lake City group seeking to bring back the Olympics and Paralympics for 2030 or 2034.
“We have an amazing group of volunteers and support system where people said if the Olympics and Paralympics come, I think we have over a 90-percent positive response which is unheard of before the Games come and usually rises as the Games get closer,” he said.
“I hope we get it back whether it’s 2030 or 2034."