Mike Schlappi


Keynote speaker Mike Schlappi has an inspiring message for every American, young or old: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.” As president of Mike Schlappi Communications, and confined to a wheelchair, he is spreading that word to audiences ranging from students to chief executive officers, from rookies to Olympic champions, and from small gatherings to major conventions.

At the age of 14, Schlappi was student body president, had been awarded his Eagle Scout and had expectations of a career in sports as a top American athlete when he was involved in a tragic shooting accident. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but after months of rigorous therapy, he began playing basketball from his wheelchair and went on to become an athletic standout.

Schlappi is a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time World Champion in Wheelchair Basketball. The first wheelchair basketball player in the United States to be on four consecutive summer Paralympic teams, Schlappi was honored by the state of Utah in 2000 as one of its Top 50 athletes of the past century. He served on the board of trustees that managed the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake. He is the founder and director of the Wheelchair Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves disabled athletes.

Hoping to inspire others through his experiences, Schlappi hung up his sneakers and transitioned from the sports arena to the speaking platform. His engaging presentations have entertained and inspired thousands of audiences worldwide. Schlappi’s thought-provoking story challenges individuals to succeed despite difficult circumstances by empowering themselves and accepting personal responsibility.

Off the basketball court, Schlappi graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration and Healthcare from Arizona State University, and on a leadership scholarship, earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from Brigham Young University. Schlappi is also a writer and author of two popular inspirational books which draw heavily on his own experiences and the challenges he’s overcome: Bulletproof Principles for Personal Success and Motivational Leaders.

He has won numerous honors including the American Medical Association’s Special People Award, The Sporting Goods Manufacturer of America’s Heroes Award and the Golden Key Athlete of the Year Award.

Mike and his wife, Tami, reside in Draper, Utah and are the stressed parents of five kids!

Featured Keynotes:

If You Can’t Stand Up, Stand Out!

Mike’s favorite presentation builds a strong case for getting started and taking personal responsibility for successes and failures. Mike’s example and entertaining style will challenge his audience to relish adversity as an opportunity to change. People will learn to love themselves from the inside out and walk away with the realization that if Mike can do it, so can they. Mike uses his Paralympic medals, a media presentation, and inspiring stories to teach his “Bulletproof Principles” for personal success.

Attitude Therapy

As a young boy, Mike was known as “Happy Schlappi”. His nickname and his ability to put life into proper perspective, is why so many have looked to Mike as a leading authority on attitude. Mike will inspire and motivate any audience with a heavy dose of his patented “Attitude Therapy”. His message includes humor and inspiration as he tells his improbable story – A story that began with a tragic shooting accident and evolved into a lifetime of lessons and victories. Although Mike’s body was paralyzed, his dreams were not.



”Mike Schlappi is a gold medal champion. He is also a friend whose accomplishments remind each of us of the unconquerable power of the human spirit to rise above all adversity. Mike walks his talk as he verbally and visually inspires everyone to light the fire within.”
Mitt Romney
Governor of Massachusetts
President and CEO, 2002 Olympic games

"To offer a simple recommendation for Mike Schlappi is an understatement. Mike's genuine, honest and professional approach is head and shoulders above many of the speakers that I've heard. Motivational speakers can sometimes be one dimensional in terms of their content and delivery. Mike's 'shoot for the stars' message appeals to a multitude of issues that face an organization.”
Christopher S. Carlton, President
Dräger Medical, Inc.

"Your keynote speech was extremely well received. In fact, on a majority of my overall conference evaluations, you were listed as ‘the best part of the conference.’ That, coupled with the standing ovation my clients gave you, speaks volumes about how well the program went. Thank YOU!"
Lori K. Bennett, Director of Marketing Communications
Paradigm Technologies

"In my 20 years of coordinating meetings, I am hard pressed to identify a speaker that I have worked with that is as cooperative and effective. Thanks for working with us to make the Descartes Global Sales Meeting successful. It was a compelling and heart-rendering performance that will be remembered for years to come."
Lora Cecere
Descartes Systems Group

“We have had many speakers over the years, but this one seemed to be the most genuine of all times. When accomplishments are so great that they provide your introduction, you know that what you are about to hear will be something you will remember for some time to come.”
Angela Vernon
ADTRAV Corporate Services

Quotes from the audience about Mike…

“Best lunch hour of my life!”
“Mike was one of the most dynamic and captivating speakers we have had in years.”
“If I could hear the whole speech again tomorrow it would not be too soon!”
“Touched all of my emotions…great!”
“What an incredible motivator!”
“Best speaker of the forum – invite him back.”
“Absolutely inspirational. A great way to end…and begin!”
“Out of this world! It doesn’t get any better.”


Mikes's Video


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Partial Client List:

American Express
American Family Insurance
American Honda
American Stores
American United Life Insurance
APCO International
Arthur Andersen
Boy Scouts of America
Coldwell Banker
Delta Airlines
Discover Card
Farmers Insurance
Forever Living Products
Glaxo Smith Kline Pharmaceuticals
Harvard Medical School
Hospital Financial Management Association
IKON Office Solutions
Institute of Certified Travel Agents
International Association of Personnel Services
International Health, Racquet, Sports Association
Iroquois Healthcare Association
Kansas State University
Lincoln Financial Services

Merrill Lynch
National Federation of High Schools
National MS Society
Northwest Public Power
Ortho McNeil
Phillips Edison
Remax Realtors
Ricoh Corporation
Sallie Mae
SSM Healthcare
US Olympic Committee
US West Communications
Western Petroleum Marketers Association
Wyeth Ayerst Pharmaceuticals
Young Entrepreneurs Organization
Young Presidents Association


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