Paralympic Swimming Gold Medalist and Inspirational Speaker
After an injury that led to permanent paralysis at the age of 18, Weggemann created a new life for herself. Within three-months of the injury, she found herself doing what she loved—swimming competitively—while chasing her dreams. Within four years she set 15 world records and 33 American records before winning gold and bronze medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Shortly after, she suffered an additional injury to her arm resulting in nerve damage that could have left her sidelined. Instead, she persevered, making the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, as well as the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games where she brought home a silver and two gold medals.
With unmatchable energy and enthusiasm, Weggemann guides audiences on how to manage setbacks—especially those that come out of nowhere. From the raw emotions of early obstacles to the celebration of each accomplishment along the way, Weggemann chronicles her journey, while encouraging audiences to chart their own paths, regardless of hurdles faced throughout the process.
Weggemann argues that we all have a choice: to allow limitations to overpower us, or face them in a journey toward new abilities and accomplishments. Focusing on mental fortitude and strength as the foundation for achieving personal greatness, along with defining boundaries, and reaching for individual goals and outcomes, Weggemann’s message offers takeaways for teams and individuals at all points in life’s journey.
Grit, Resilience and Triumph Over Any Obstacle
“You’re the best. You can make a difference and change the world.” The phrase, spoken to Mallory Weggemann by her father each day growing up, is among her core beliefs. Weggemann emphasizes that no matter your disability, everyone is able to overcome and ultimately make a difference in the world. With her unique ability to make audience members feel as if they are involved in a personal conversation, Weggemann teaches how to locate the grit and resilience necessary to keep moving in the face of setbacks.
Personal Stories: Finding the “Why?”
Mallory Weggemann describes the day she became paralyzed back in January 2008 and her initial struggles to cope with the fact that her life had changed in the blink of an eye. After months of self-reflection, Weggemann began to find answers to her number one question—why? Committed to the belief that everything happens for a reason, she shares her emotional journey, including the debilitating injury that affected her 2016 Paralympics and set her on the path toward a 2020 comeback in which she won 2 gold medals and one silver. In this powerful discussion, Weggemann sends audiences on a journey of their own self-reflection as she challenges everyone to realize their own paths as she insists that no odds are too large to overcome.
Small Steps, Big Impact: A “Small Victories” Approach to Leadership
According to Mallory Weggemann, one of the keys to leadership is to tackle a seemingly insurmountable challenge by achieving small victories along the way. While fighting her way to the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 after suffering a debilitating arm injury, Weggemann discovered one of the greatest qualities leaders possess is the ability to adapt—particularly in the face of overwhelming obstacles. She then continued to apply her philosophy to her training following Rio, with an epic comeback including 3 medals at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Outside of sports, she applies this resilience to every facet of life, from her training to her decision to learn how to walk down the aisle at her wedding. Through reflection and raw honesty, Weggemann teaches audiences how to celebrate small victories and to use setbacks as tools to develop teams.
All Mallory Weggemann Books
Limitless: The Power of Hope and Resilience to Overcome CircumstancePurchase Book
Marllory Weggemann was fantastic! What poise and grace! Her story is powerful—and she is so well spoken.
- | Aetna
Mallory lifted the entire room; I was completely blown away. We sometimes overuse words like “inspirational” or “awesome” or “courageous” and they lose their true meaning—not in this case; Mallory is all those and more. She reminded us what a person can do in the face adversity, and showed us we have the capacity to overcome obstacles, large or small, if we choose to and if we work at it. She’s inspired me to want to do better—that’s real leadership as far as I’m concerned.
- | Environmental Resource Management