You see these gladiator-type looking chairs smashing into each other. So you are thinking why are these people with disabilities trying to become more disable? crashing into each other, it’s a kind of an oxymoron


Joe Delagrave shares what Victor Attitude looks like after a tragic accident changed his life as a teenager. He is the captain of the Rugby Wheelchair Team USA at the 2020 Paralympics (played in 2021)


Wheelchair Rugby has been played for about 5o years… it started in the 70’s in Canada, and now it’s played in over 30 countries worldwide. Some of the major players are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, France, Great Britain

SKIP TO: 2:17

You’re 19 years old… for me I grew up playing sports… all the sports… I was in theater… I loved being a part of a team… I was pretty decent on the football field… Everything was going really great. I was on top of the world… At 19 you feel invincible

SKIP TO: 5:17

In those dark moments is so important to pause and reflect and then also pivot… I think is really important to realize I’m hurting, this sucks, I’m mad, I’m angry, this isn’t my plan, this isn’t what was supposed to happen. Where’s all my dreams and desires and everything going on now, that’s all gone now?

SKIP TO: 09:00

I can play the blame game I can be a victim… Or you can be a victor and say I’m going to make the choice to learn how to become independent

How did you wrestle with that power to say yes to life on a daily basis? Where did you find it?

SKIP TO: 13:38

I can’t do this on my own, I can’t just pretend that everything’s OK… but I’m going to trust that God has a plan

We are human and some of those tendencies, some of those thoughts keep coming in and you still gotta battle with them… so for me is a lifelong journey… most people don’t wake up with the miracle of their circumstances gone, but you do wake up everyday with an opportunity to find those little diamonds, find those little nuggets within your circumstance. Find the opportunity within your circumstance each and every day. For me, that’s my wheelchair… If I get in it, that’s an opportunity to get educated, is an opportunity to find work…

SKIP TO: 17:30

I Can’t control what happened. I can control what happens next

What is it like being on a wheelchair? What are things that are different that when we can walk we take for granted?

SKIP TO: 20:30

My wife April… She showed me so much love I ended up breaking up with her for a while… I’m inadequate, I’m insecure in who I am…  what a bad mistake it was…  we went through some stuff, she has been with me through the darkest parts… is her story as much as mine

SKIP TO: 24:10

Accessibility for the person in the wheelchair is accessibility for everyone. From a cultural standpoint If we build that ramp for the wheelchair user we are building that for the elderly person with a cane that needs to walk up the ramp, we are building that for the young mom who’s got 2 kids and a stroller… is for everyone

One thing is saying I’m going to use a wheelchair to get around to do life, but another thing is to say I’m going to get into sports again and I’m going to be a Paralympic athlete. What’s the driving force to get there?

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What does it take to become a Captain for the Paralympic team of Rugby?

SKIP TO: 32:22

Any good leader ends up being a servant leader

Joe Delagrave Keynote Speaker