John Register of Colorado Springs, Colo., is a Persian Gulf War veteran, two-time Paralympian, Paralympic Games Silver Medalist, and TEDx Motivational Speaker. John embraced a “new normal” in becoming an amputee following a misstep over a hurdle while training for the 1996 Olympic Games, after participation in two consecutive Olympic trials on active duty with the U.S. Army. He is honored to be named as a board advisor to Roberts & Ryan Investments, Inc.
John discovered how to “amputate his fear of disability” and founded the U.S. Olympic Committee Military Sport Program in the early 2000s. He has launched a book titled 10 Stories to Impact Any Leader: Journal Your Way to Leadership Success as business leaders return to work with their staff amid stressful circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and the recent unrest in our urban cities.
John teaches others through his motivational-speaking presentations and podcasts to discover the “stories within themselves.” He finds that “it is the personal stories that inspire teams more profoundly with greater impact.”
John swam, played baseball and football in his youth, and later discovered track and field, becoming a four-time All-American on scholarship at University of Arkansas. He served six years in the U.S. Army—including in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and in active-duty with the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program—winning nine gold medals in the Armed Services Competition and two World Military Championships.
John participated in two U.S. Olympic trials in two hurdles distances and hoped to make the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. But one misstep over a hurdle on May 17, 1994, changed his life forever. John hyperextended his knee and severed the popliteal artery. Surgical reconstruction proved futile as gangrene set in, resulting in amputation of his left leg.
Following a long road to recovery, John started swimming. He made the U.S. Paralympic Team in 1996, swimming the anchor leg in the 4×400 Medley Relay. Eventually, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg and returned to track and field as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team in Sydney, winning a silver medal in the long jump—as he set an American record—and sprinted to fifth in the 100 meters and 200 meters.
Now John motivates CEOs, business leaders, veterans, athletes, youth, and first responders as an inspirational speaker, trainer, coach and keynote presenting his “Hurdling Adversity” speech, where he asks participants to “amputate their fear” and “embrace their new normal.”