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Mike Schlappi

Gold Medalist, MBA, Author

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Mike Schlappi: Gold Medalist, MBA, Author

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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 had expectations of a career in sports as a top American 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 first 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.  

Hoping to inspire others through his experiences, Schlappi hung up his sneakers and transitioned from the sports arena to the speaking platform.  His engaging presentations have entertained and inspired thousands of audiences worldwide.  Schlappi’s thought-provoking story challenges individuals to succeed despite difficult circumstances by empowering themselves and accepting personal responsibility.  
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.  Schlappi is also a writer and author of two popular inspirational books which draw heavily on his own experiences and the challenges he’s overcome: 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.  

If You Can’t Stand Up, Stand Out!
Mike’s favorite presentation builds a strong case for getting started and taking personal responsibility for successes and failures.  Mike’s example and entertaining style will challenge his audience to relish adversity as an opportunity to change.  People will learn to love themselves from the inside out and walk away with the realization that if Mike can do it, so can they.  Mike uses his Paralympic medals, a media presentation, and inspiring stories to teach his “Bulletproof Principles” for personal success.

Attitude Therapy
As a young boy, Mike was known as “Happy Schlappi”.  His nickname and his ability to put life into proper perspective, is why so many have looked to Mike as a leading authority on attitude.  Mike will inspire and motivate any audience with a heavy dose of his patented “Attitude Therapy”.  His message includes humor and inspiration as he tells his improbable story – A story that began with a tragic shooting accident and evolved into a lifetime of lessons and victories.  Although Mike’s body was paralyzed, his dreams were not.

Safety Motivation
At the age of 14 Mike was shot in the chest, by a friend, at point blank range; paralyzing 2/3 of his body.  In his keynote , he shares his Olympic medals, a powerful media presentation,  and the actual bullet he was shot with to teach audiences that “this didn’t need to happen; it could have been prevented”. Mike’s powerful message leaves a lasting impression that this didn’t just happen to him.  It affected his family, his friends, the community, and even his future wife and children.

Mike and his family continue to face challenges daily because of the split second decision that was made in regards to safety or the lack thereof.  His entertaining message changes the way people think about carelessness and the magnitude of their decisions in the work place. A few of his themes are:
  • “There’s no such thing as a bronze medal in safety”.
  • “Put Your Safety On”
  • “Safety is NO ACCIDENT”
  • “The Gold Standard of Safety”
"To offer a simple recommendation for Mike Schlappi is an understatement. Mike's genuine, honest and professional approach is head and shoulders above many of the speakers that I've heard. Motivational speakers can sometimes be one dimensional in terms of their content and delivery. Mike's 'shoot for the stars' message appeals to a multitude of issues that face an organization.”
Dräger Medical, Inc.

"Your keynote speech was extremely well received. In fact, on a majority of my overall conference evaluations, you were listed as ‘the best part of the conference.’ That, coupled with the standing ovation my clients gave you, speaks volumes about how well the program went. Thank YOU!"
Paradigm Technologies

"In my 20 years of coordinating meetings, I am hard pressed to identify a speaker that I have worked with that is as cooperative and effective. Thanks for working with us to make the Descartes Global Sales Meeting successful. It was a compelling and heart-rendering performance that will be remembered for years to come."
Descartes Systems Group

“We have had many speakers over the years, but this one seemed to be the most genuine of all times.  When accomplishments are so great that they provide your introduction, you know that what you are about to hear will be something you will remember for some time to come.”
ADTRAV Corporate Services
Coldwell Banker
Delta Airlines
Farmers Insurance
Glaxo Smith Kline Pharmaceuticals
Remax Realtors
Ricoh Corporation