Chris Norton

Chris Norton

Whether I’m inspiring people to change their lives, or helping them access recovery resources through my foundation, my purpose is to help others overcome any challenge they face. Life isn’t about getting knocked down – it’s about getting back up. Stand in the face of adversity. Stand for an idea. Stand to empower the world.

Chris suffered a spinal cord injury while playing football at Luther College (Iowa). The doctors gave Chris a 3% chance of moving anything below his neck again. Four years later, he defied the odds and walked across stage at his college graduation with his fiancé, Emily Summers. The video went viral twice, garnered 300 million+ views, and caught the eye of the country’s top media outlets (Good Morning, America,, NBC Nightly News, CBS, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, etc.).

Three years later, Chris attempted another incredible feat – this time, perhaps the most important walk of his life - down the aisle with his wife, Emily. As with his Graduation Walk, Chris prepared relentlessly, spending four hours per day in the gym. Chris and Emily joyfully conquered the challenge – and walked seven yards down the aisle after their wedding ceremony. Seven yards symbolized the seven-year anniversary of his injury. Their beautiful story once again captured the heart of the world, with coverage ranging from nearly all of the top-tier U.S. media outlets to media in Germany, Italy and London, to name a few.

Chris is a well-respected motivational speaker and speaks at numerous events across the country. He was named to the ITA Group’s Hottest Keynote Speakers List, alongside Michael Strahan, Magic Johnson and Mark Cuban. Chris’ message focuses on the fact that we all face challenges, but our circumstances don’t define us – we do. With inspiring anecdotes and positive action steps, Chris connects with his audience in a genuine, entertaining and impactful way. His message resonates with all of us: adversity is universal, but we all have the Power to Stand. Additionally, Chris has written a book; he and Emily are working on their second book; and a documentary is being made about them.

Chris’ story is now on Prime Video and AppleTV! “The world watched as I took ten impossible steps on my college graduation day. That was just my beginning. 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story shares my story of how I battled unbelievable odds with a faithful determination to discover that life’s lowest moments can be our greatest gifts. This film will redefine your outlook on how to overcome adversity with strength and resilience, but also the importance of family and friends. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we all have the Power to Stand.”

Most Requested Programs

The Power to Stand-
We all get knocked down. I’m here to help you get back up. Our circumstances don’t define us – we do. With inspiring words and positive action steps for changing your attitude and reality, my speech is universal. I promise it will help with whatever challenge you are facing. Are you ready to change your life? FIND YOUR POWER TO STAND

You’ll discover powerful new ideas and strategies that will inspire you and keep you positive, focused and on track to achieve your most important goals.

In this dynamic and interactive presentation you will:
Gain confidence and clarity as you uncover the hidden signs of progress, Learn how to inspire and powerfully motivate others, Identify your top priorities so you invest your attention and energy in the activities that really count, You'll return to your work and life feeling empowered, refreshed and optimistic, with a step by step plan to align your work and life with your most important goals and highest aspirations.


“Thank You for everything you did for the lunch and learn at Rockwell Collins this past Friday! There was not a dry eye in the audience - it was EXTREMELY moving and such a great talk. Everyone absolutely loved the books as well.” - McKenna, Rockwell Collins

“He delivered an outstanding message about responding to adversity. It was meaningful to each person in the room because we all face challenges in our lives in some degree. Chris says that “What determines your success and happiness is how you respond to adversity.” Chris shares his message with a sincere and thankful heart. If you are looking for a speaker to deliver a message of courage and determination, of passion and commitment, I highly recommend Chris Norton.” - Craig & Lea Culver, Culver’s

“I simply cannot say enough about Chris's presentation to all of our staff. The people at NCAA National Office work every day to try to make the experiences for students and student athletes better in every way they can and to hear Chris's story of inspiration, perseverance, and faith and how he was able to rise above extraordinary odds to be as successful as he is today is quite amazing. He left my staff feeling so good about what they do and why they do it. His presentation was exactly what I was hoping it would be.” - Mark Emmert - President, NCAA

“I just wanted to thank you or your team for setting up the motivational speaking by Chris Norton. Although reminders of the importance to work safely are very important and necessary, Chris’s presentation reminded us the importance of living. I was inspired by his talk not just to be safe but more importantly to live by changing my attitude and effort and by creating purpose. It brought a new level of perspective on how we should work and live. Thanks again to whoever made this happen." - Chad Spore, John Deere

“Something really cool happened at our VGM Value Summit. Chris Norton shared the story of his will to stand. It’s a powerful story of determination, focus, courage, perseverance, faith and an iron will. Chris is funny, he’s humble, he’s real. He connects to people. During his presentation, Chris took our team on a journey from lying lifeless on a football field, through a courageous recovery to standing and walking across the stage to receive his diploma. It was emotional. It was impactful. He inspired each of us in attendance to overcome our own obstacles.” - Mike Mallaro - CEO, VGM Group, In