Chris Cederstrand understands workplace safety better than most and has spent recent years talking to groups about why it is an important issue. His motivating keynote speeches include his personal story of tragedy as well how he overcame adversity to continue in his dreams.
Cedarstrand may be known to hockey fans as he began playing higher-level hockey in high school and was drafted into the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. His hockey career was split between Red Deer and Swift Current, but concussion issues ended his NHL career and he had to pursue new challenges.
He graduated at the top of his class at Fire School in Vermillion, Alberta in 2004 and moved with his fiance to Calgary to apply for a firefighter position. Chris worked in road construction while waiting for a position to open. He got married but his life changed forever when he was just 25.
He was backing a large piece of heavy machinery uphill when the gears slipped. The packer began rolling, eventually forcing Chris to jump off as he couldn’t stop it. It was then the machine flipped and caught his leg. His leg was amputated above the knee without Chris knowing. He was sent home two and a half weeks later with little hope and no real plan for recovery.
That started his journey to become the first North American above-knee amputee firefighter and to represent Canada on the National Sledge Hockey Team. Chris was also an alternate for the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi and won many international medals including the silver medal at the 2015 IPC World Championships.
Chris retired in 2017 to become the adaptive director at the hockey school PX3 AMP where he offers free sledge programs for kids with disabilities. He also works as an athlete ambassador at Kidsport Calgary and started Cederstrand Foundation, which helps kids with disabilities buy adaptive sports equipment. He coaches the provincial sledge team, which garnered four consecutive national titles and has been named one of Shaw’s 50 Outstanding Canadians and is a Distinguished Alumni award winner at Lakeland College and Fire Training.
Chris Cederstrand is available to hire for both in-person and virtual presentations.
Motivation & Perseverance:
Given little to aspire to achieve after an accident causes the an above knee amputation, Chris will share how he had to carve his own path to to achieve childhood dreams of firefighting and playing hockey for Team Canada. This is a story full of hurdles, successes, failures, injury, and humor, and though it all Chris Cederstrand will inspire you to persevere through your most difficult life experiences in order to feel motivated to reach your own life goals.
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone:
Chris shares how his own life changing experience forced him outside of his comfort zone and how he learned to navigate life, sport, and work in order to achieve success. Chris’s talk will emphasize the importance obtaining small steps of success and failures needed in order to achieve larger goals. Not only will Chis story inspire you to achieve the unachievable, it will provide you with the tools and motivation to be successful in the path you choose.
After a sudden life changing accident, Chris was faced with depression, chronic pain, PTSD, issues with self image, confidence, and self-esteem. Given little hope to aspire to be successful, Chris talks about how he had to pull himself out from the darkest of days to choose a path of success and victory; “Be a victor, not a victim.” By sharing his successes, failures, and tools for success, Chris will show you even the impossible is achievable.
Work Place Safety (Ripple Effect)
Chris shares how decisions in the workforce can create a ripple effect through the employees as well as the company itself and how one decision changed the course of his life. Speaking about work place safety, Chris talks about his accident, the preventable events leading up to it, how a few extra seconds can make all the difference in the type of ripple effect you create.