An Uplifting Message of Perseverance

His legs were burned so badly he was told he might never walk again. But Colin O’Brady wouldn’t accept that. He pushed himself to more than walk, becoming a record breaking explorer and one of the world’s best endurance athletes. The man who has climbed to the top of some of the highest mountains in the world, including Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro, offered some lofty words on wisdom in Salina Tuesday night.

O’Brady, the athlete, adventurer, and author, was the featured speaker at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet.

O’Brady’s message was one to instill hope, and open your mind to possibilities.


O’Brady told KSAL News if his audience remembers only one thing he hopes it would be that “you are the story that you tell yourself”, so make sure you’re telling yourself that positive and uplifting story. He added “it all starts in your mind, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.” 


The evening consisted of remarks by outgoing Board Chair Travis Young, Vortex Global; incoming Board Chair Dr. Alysia Starkey, K-State Salina; a brief review of the Chamber’s accomplishments in 2022, and the keynote address by O’Brady. Additionally, Interim Chamber President / CEO Renee Duxler had her position made permanent. 

O’Brady is a 10-time world record breaking explorer and one of the world’s best endurance athletes. He isn’t your typical adventurer despite his unmatched athletic accomplishments including a world-first solo crossing of Antarctica, a world-first ocean row across Drake Passage (from South America to Antarctica), and summiting Mt. Everest twice.

The chamber has a history of bringing big name speakers for their annual banquet and membership meeting. Last year Jay Leno spoke. Other speakers have included Dick Vitale, Rob Riggle, Terry Bradshaw, Bob Costas, Cal Ripken Jr., Former President George H.W. Bush, and former British Prime Minister John Major.