While actually going downhill as a professional free style skier, Floris Meijer (1989) broke his back some seven years ago. “While flying mid-air taking a risk full free style ski-jump, in a split second I knew I was flying too high and too far to execute the jump and land it to perfection. Now paralysed from the waist down, Floris a Paralympic athlete, is on route to the Beijing 2022 Paralympics. Surely being a professional skier before his accident, getting all the help an athlete needs, now as before he states: “my perseverance to become as independent as can be is what makes me feel a human being again. A person first, handicapped for sure, but with the ability to reach the top.”

The strength of a true sportsman
His passion for the mountains and determination to ski again have helped Floris overcome all the challenges and through this difficult period. Just over a year after his accident, he was back on the slopes! Only now, in a sit-ski.

Apart from being an athlete, Floris is a professional wheelchair trainer, helping children with a disability and their parents to overcome their interdependency. Teaching them how to physically and mentally cope with their daily struggles while improving the wheelchair skills of the children. Improving your abilities and skills on how to use your wheelchair will help you to become more independent.  

The right mindset
Unsolicited help and advice given surely with the best intentions is appreciated but most times contra productive. Especially if one is ignored and people start a conversation over your head to the one behind the wheelchair. Having the right mindset, becoming independent and improving ones wheelchair skills is what people with a disability can do themselves. A change in how society acts and reacts to people in a wheelchair is a challenge that needs more awareness. That is what inspired Floris to become a top teacher and trainer improving the lives of many.

Come and see how Floris becomes a top TEDxVenlo speaker and learn how he will reach the top while skiing down-hill, teaching us how to “Be Brave” from the bottom up! All you have to do is register here.