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Why This Man Calls the Accident That Paralyzed Him 'a Gift'

Chris Waddell’s motto is, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.”

Waddell, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a skiing accident in 1988, took this motto with him while he became the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history. And he takes it with him now, as he goes about trying to change the way we think of disability.

In the LifeMeansWhat? video above, Waddell doesn’t sugarcoat things — he’s not saying his limitation is all lollipops and roses or that he’s overcome it — but he does refer to his accident as a gift. Watch to find out why (and to catch a glimpse of some pretty insane skiing footage).