Olympian, Paralympian, World Champion and Order of Ontario
Jeff Adams is no stranger to overcoming challenges. He survived childhood cancer, but the radiation treatment that ultimately saved his life caused burns on his spinal cord that permanently damaged it. He started using a wheelchair at a young age, but his love of competitive sport helped him turn his wheelchair into the vehicle for a journey of success.
Adams is a three-time Olympian, five-time Paralympian, and six-time World Champion. He has acted in television commercials, has been a global spokesperson for multinational corporations, and regularly works as a journalist and colour commentator, recently hosting the CBC radio show The Current. He's served as Chair of the Accessibility Committee for the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid Committee and as the Chair for the Ontarians with Disability Advisory Council.
In 2002, Adams climbed the 1776 stairs of the CN Tower in a specially designed wheelchair for an awareness event called "Step Up to Change". The event was designed to highlight the need for accessibility, but went much further than that. By climbing the stairs in a wheelchair, Adams demonstrated in a tangible way, that when faced with what seems like an impossible task or an insurmountable barrier, having a plan, sticking to it, and taking it "one step at a time" is the best way to guarantee success.
Using compelling video footage of both the best and worst days of his athletic career, and through his intensely personal and compelling story, Adams shows his audiences how the power of focus can make a winner out of anybody. Adept at tailoring his message to seamlessly fit each audience, Adams focuses on methods people can use to win "gold medals" in every aspect of their life.
Adams’s message is pertinent to the business reality as it is to the daily lives of his audience. The themes that echo throughout his presentation are: having a message and keeping it consistent; agreeing on a plan and sticking to it; recognizing the excellence that surrounds us; and listening for and making the "sounds of support and celebration".
Celebrating is important. The fireworks that inspire us in sports need to happen in life too, at work and at play. How to make sure that celebrating breeds success in your business team or community.
Getting Back Up
There are times in our lives when we need to understand how to come back from a disappointment. Whether it's surviving cancer, learning how to use a wheelchair, or crashing in the last lap of the Olympics, the getting up part is always much more important that the falling down part, and we rarely have to do it alone.
The Olympics and Paralympics reunite a world full of people with incredible moments. Athletes understand that getting ready to live those moments doesn't happen overnight. How to get ready for your moment of excellence, whether it's at school, work, sports, or life.
One Step at a Time
Setting unrealistic goals, and achieving them. Whether it's climbing the CN Tower in a wheelchair, winning a gold medal at the Paralympics, or being the best in business, the process to ensure success is the same.
Turning Coal into Diamonds
Understanding how to make the most of every situation - sports techniques that work in real life.
"Your speech was most inspirational. You delivered it with poise, polish and class". Hamilton Sports Celebrity Dinner
"Only one word can describe your participation...awesome! You have such a great attitude to life and all that it has to offer that I am sure you inspired everyone there. Life is about breaking barriers of all sorts and you demonstrated that in spades. You are a great role model" Shad International
"Thank you for kicking our ceremony off in such a dynamite way. I am truly impressed with your flair on stage...I couldn't have imagined the event without you". Precision Management Consultants
"You were very inspiring...people have quoted you regarding overcoming barriers to achieve personal dreams...seeing them as opportunities and not roadblocks". RBC Financial Group
"'...your speech was the best presentation not only of our workshop, but of any event she [a participant] had ever attended.'" Health Quality Council