People named him one of “The Fifty Most Beautiful People in the World, Skiing called him one of “The 25 Greatest Skiers in North America” and the Dalai Lama honored him as an Unsung Hero of Compassion. He was the first Paralympic finalist for the Sullivan Award, given by the Amateur Athletic Union to the top amateur athlete in the country. In his career Chris won more Paralympic medals (12) than any male skier in history. He is one of the only athletes to ever win World Championships in both winter and summer sports.
In 1988 as a freshman ski racer at Middlebury College, Chris broke his back in a freak accident on the hill. Two months later, he returned to school and three days short of a year after the accident, he started to ski in a mono-ski. Less than two years after learning to mono-ski he was named to the US Disabled Ski Team. Chris remained a member of the Middlebury College Ski Team all fours years and captained the team as a senior.
In 1998 he won a gold and two silvers at the Paralympic Games in Nagano, Japan. That year he also won a gold and a bronze medal at the Track World Championships in Birmingham, England. In 1994 he swept all four skiing events at the Paralympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, and then won a silver medal at the Track World Championships in Berlin Germany.
Credited with revolutionizing the sport of mono-skiing, Waddell also conducted camps for aspiring disabled skiers since 1993.
Chris was named skier of the Year in 1994, 1995 and 2000.
Prior to the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah Chris worked closely with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. His ability to communicate the Olympic and Paralympic messages resulted in record attendance.
After seven Game and twelve Paralympic medals, Chris retired at the conclusion of the Games in Athens Greece birthplace of the Olympics.
12 Paralympic Medals
5 World Cup Win
6 World Championship Medals
32 National Titles165