John Register

John Register

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Paralympic Silver Medalist, 2xTEDx speaker, Inspirational Keynote Speaker


Invite a keynote speaker who will connect with your team and dig deep to spark action in your organization.

What’s holding you back from making lasting changes? Whether you’re struggling to renew the confidence of your sales team for an enormous ROI or implement effective disability inclusion programs, John Register delivers.

John’s personal inspirational stories make his audiences truly understand that it’s not about overcoming your shortcomings, or adversities, it’s about embracing a new normal.

John’s story: From Olympic hopeful to an amputee in a single week
He is a four-time all-American collegiate track athlete, a two-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, and a United States Army Gulf War Veteran.

But when training for his dream of becoming an Olympic hurdler, one misstep over a hurdle in practice left him with a life-changing choice: the fall hyperextended his left leg and blocked the arterial flow. The choice? Live the rest of his life in a wheelchair or amputate his left leg.

John chose to amputate his leg and be fitted with a prosthesis. For any other athlete this could have been crushing, but John found a way to create a new normal.

He rehabilitated by working out hard in the swimming pool and made the Paralympic swim team within a year. At the Paralympic Games, he was introduced to Paralympic track and field, and four years later, he won the silver medal in the long jump in Sydney, Australia.

Inspiring others to change their lives
John facilitates action. His ability to pinpoint resistance, fear, and turn it around to motivate action has inspired audiences across 4 continents and has been featured on television shows such as PAX’s “It’s a Miracle,” MSNBC’s “Morning Blend,” NBC’s “the Weekend Today Show,” and FOX’s “The Edge.” He was invited to give not just one, but two TEDx talks.

While professionally a keynote speaker, John is a facilitator at heart. He says, “As a professional speaker, I like to think of myself as a facilitator for the brilliance already in the room.”

  • Secretary of State Colin Powell appointed him in 2007 to be one of an eight-member panel advising her on foreign policy issues regarding disability, and he continued to serve on the advisory panel under both Secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.
  • He served as a US Embassy Sports Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
  • He led educational change in the positive empowerment of Paralympic athletes and journalists in Kazakhstan.
  • He earned the selective Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, which only 11% of global speakers have achieved.
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Speaking topics


How does one bounce back from being an Olympic track and field hopeful and Army Officer Candidate one day and becoming an amputee the next?

John Register knows the answer to that question all too well because, well, this is John’s story.

“It is all about employing one’s resilience in order to embrace one’s new normal,” says John Register.

Despite John’s devastating setback, he hurdled his adversity and succeeded over it. Within 23 months he competed in Paralympic Games (games for athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairment) as a swimmer.

Four years later he returned to his first love of track and field and in Sydney, Australia at the 2000 Paralympic Games, John won the silver medal in the long jump and set the American record in the process.
John is the first to say that overcoming any obstacle no matter how great or insignificant one thinks it is, begins with having a resilient mindset.

But how do you get it? Where does it come from? And, can it be taught and learned so everyone can respond better when facing adversity?

Can you learn to be more optimistic? The answer is yes.


This highly interactive presentation empowers attendees to plan past their setbacks in order to be more productive.  Just as a hurdle race has 10 barriers that must be overcome for a successful race. John’s will guide you through the core elements to succeed over setbacks.

Attendees will learn techniques to empower their environment.

These outcomes are benchmarked at 30, 60, and 90 days through either self-identified, self-guided and/or, company guided inspirational plans.


You probably know that the American with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment. So, why then is there an over 80% unemployment rate for people with disabilities in the United States?

You also probably know that extracurricular athletics are an important component of an overall education program and lead to socialization, improved teamwork, and leadership skills. So, then why are students with disabilities not being afforded an equal opportunity to participate?

Might these two areas (sport and the ADA) be connected?

In this highly interactive presentation, John Register, TEDx speaker on “Why We Do Not Overcome Adversity,” discusses the problem of attitudinal barriers that hinder hiring an available and trained labor force as well as some of the key indicators that may play a role in those outcomes.

He focuses on the fact that disability cuts across all business resource groups or BRG’s.

John offers 3 solution oriented points for consideration in order to overcome these areas of concern and foster a work environment that values the contributions of all citizens.

Goal:  To inspire your organization to attain greater victory by increasing the appreciation, talents and diverse skills sets, of all employees through the use of team building techniques, storytelling, interactive collaboration and accountability measures.

Summary:  Diversity takes on many forms.  Even seeing the word written on a person can conjure up emotional ties.  We may often think of diversity in a very conventional way but when we take a closer look we find that diversity is all around us.  Not only can it be our cultural differences in values, beliefs, and norms, but it can also take on the form of job skills and specialties in the workplace. Understanding and appreciating the differences from one’s own culture can lead to richer and better solutions to goals and challenges.


If Olympic and Paralympic athletes are training four years from today the way they are training today, they have already lost the gold medal.

If your company or organization is trying to compete be playing it safe, you are on the path of going out of business.

Citius, Altius, Fortius. These three Latin words are the foundation of the Olympic movement.

What lessons can be learned from an athlete’s journey to winning an Olympic medal? How can you harness the laser focus of the world’s greatest athletes? What systems can be employed in reaching one’s own podium in life?

These questions and more are answered in this uniquely designed keynote that takes leaders inside the mind of an athlete.

For example, did you realize that most athletes who make an Olympic team will not medal at the event? How then to those who do medal manage the distractions and stay focused on the task at hand?

John walks you through his athletic journey, both Olympic and Paralympic and shares his insights on gaining the edge over competitors to always put him in position to win.

The interactive activities and exercises the participants take part in will release the competitive champion spirit in your organization and position you to be a top your medal podium.

By the end of this presentation your team will learn:

• 3 Olympic training techniques to outperform your competitor
• insights into leveraging your competitive advantage
• how to set your dogma to push through adversity

Your company will be in a better position to win and sustain the competitive advantage after this dynamic high powered presentation.


  1. Feel: Increased courage to take on what limits them.
  2. An self-discovered action step to be implemented by 10:00 am the next morning.

Video clips

Speaker Reel

John Register - We Do Not Overcome Adversity We Create a New Normal

Speaker testimonials

Thank you for an extremely inspirational presentation. Your visit and message was timely. We just completed our business plan and many of our core activities focus around being better, more effective leaders. You gave us some great information that will certainly help build our skill-sets.

Vice President, Western Division AXA Advisors, LLC

John Register is an exceptional speaker who can work in a variety of settings ranging from small groups through keynote presentations. He embraces his audiences and captivates them through touching and entertaining personal stories about issues that impact all of us. His message is poignant and customized for each group and includes stories about life challenges, leadership, diversity and disability. I highly recommend John without reservation.

Speaker, Writer, Health & Disability Consultant, Trendspotter, Corporate Storyteller, Employee Benefits Communicator

John: Thank you for addressing our cadet athletes here at the United States Air Force Academy. You were dynamite and your message points were such a great inspiration. Your talk was entertaining and just what the Cadets needed to hear to challenge them to move forward! “Keep on keepin’ on”. You are certainly making a great impact in this community and the Olympic movement.

Head Football Coach, Air Force Academy

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