The Man

At the age of 25, Boris Grundl, an ambitious sports student – well-trained, attractive, with a zest for life, is standing on a cliff in Mexico. The jungle behind him, the deep glistening blue sea far beneath him. Imitating the locals, Boris Grundl jumps from the rock face, past the waterfall rushing into the lagoon, diving into the crystal-clear waters below, going ever higher and higher. Then, he is jumping one last time. This time, from as high up as possible.

 

Suddenly, two voices pop into his head. One says “Jump! Now is the time.” The other one admonishes him to be careful: “Something is not quite right!” But it was too late. He quickly leaps forward, not knowing that this would be the last time he is standing on his feet. He fractures his cervical vertebrae leaving 90 percent of his body paralyzed and being bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

“After my friend Stefan had pulled me out of the water back then, I knew that I would be paraplegic, even though I had not really processed it then. And I asked myself all these questions, ‘what is it all good for?’, ‘what am I going to do now?’, ‘is there still a purpose in life?’. Oddly enough, I pretty much had an answer to that right away: You could be an example to the world. An example about how much there is in us.”

90 percent of his body are irrevocably paralyzed, everything seems lost: Sports, Career, Future. What he has left, he used like no other: a clear mind, 10 percent functional muscles, and a strong will, paired with an intense honesty towards himself. That’s enough. And from the post-accident mess rose Boris Grundl – a successful manager, sought after leadership expert and one of the most formidable speakers in Europe.

 

After the accident, Boris Grundl finished his Major ins Sports at the German Sports University Cologne – as the first person in a wheelchair, while simultaneously studying Psychology at the University of Cologne. Afterwards, he rose through the ranks of Management and Sales in record time, before founding his own institute for leadership and management in 2001. All the while not losing his passion and interest for sports, as he won the runner-up for the German Championship in Wheelchair Rugby in 1996 and was named Wheelchair Rugby MVP of the season in 1997. In 1997 he also won the German Championship in Wheelchair Tennis. After coming up second in the European Championship in 1999 he participated in the Paralympics in Sydney in 2000. Today, Boris Grundl keeps fit with weights and long hand bike tours around Trossingen and his second home, Mallorca.