After sustaining a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down, adventurer Grant Korgan—who had never encountered a slope he couldn’t ski or a jump he couldn’t land on his snowmobile—refused to balk at his new condition because he still had a mission in store. Ten years prior, when his best friend and climbing partner passed away in an avalanche, his parents entrusted Korgan with their son’s equipment, entreating him to continue climbing for him. Spurred by his commitment to his friend as well as the support of his wife Shawna, Korgan found the strength to rise from his wheelchair and reclaim his active lifestyle, becoming the first spinal cord-injured athlete to ski 80 miles in Antarctica’s South Pole. Today, he is the emerging face of spinal cord recovery and heralds his message of choosing positivity through adversity so that we may all climb a mountain for someone we love.
Korgan chronicles his injury and road to recovery in Two Feet Back, the first in a series of three autobiographies.
His South Pole expedition was filmed as part of noted director Steven Ziig’s documentary The Push: A South Pole Adventure. Korgan’s challenge was intended to help raise money for the California-based nonprofit High Fives Foundation, which helps injured winter athletes recover and get back to their sport. It also supports the Reeve Irvine Research Center, a science research facility at the University of California-Irvine devoted to the study of the repair, regeneration, and recovery of function after spinal cord injury.
Most recently, Korgan launched a childhood obesity awareness campaign, for which he plans on climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome along with a group of children selected through a video contest.
In enthralling multimedia presentations, Grant Korgan plunges his audience into his skiing, snowmobiling, and kayaking expeditions by sharing multi-angled, HD footage of his various experiences—including his fateful snowmobile accident. His keynotes are universally applicable to all individuals and organizations—from healthcare professionals to athletes to corporations—inspiring all to believe in the enduring power of the human spirit. “We are all survivors,” Korgan says. “Although my body has been broken, my spirit never will be.”
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