Michael William Savicki
A warm sunny place,
1.90 m (1.22 m in wheelchair)
Born January 24th. Oldest of three
(two younger sisters). Grew up in Franklin,
MA, and spent summers on Cape Cod. Franklin High School, class of 1986. Once made a
mouse trap powered car out of records and coat hangers. Set off high
school fire alarm after taking chemistry experiment a bit too far
toward “experimental.” Occasional detentions, zero suspensions.
Spent summer after graduation backpacking through
Europe. Earned BA in Political Science and International
Relations, Tufts University,
class of 1990. Zeta Psi fraternity. Four year Navy ROTC scholarship
to MIT. Outstanding Naval Aviation Candidate, officer class of 1990.
Spent last two years in college living in a house with a future
Marine pilot, Marine Force Recon officer,
investment banker and a hard core rower. Battles over the remote
control were epic. Spent summer before senior year backpacking
again. On November 3, 1990, sustained a C6,7 spinal cord injury from
a dive into the waters off
FL, while in flight school to
become an F-14 pilot. Spent eight months in SCI rehabilitation at
the West Roxbury VA Hospital, MA. Entered Fuqua School of Business
at Duke University
in 1992 and graduated as only the second student in a wheelchair to
earn MBA degree, class of 1994.
Delivered commencement address. Have traveled to over 30
different countries and nearly every US state. Married in January 2010 to
the most amazing woman ever!
In 1994, accepted full time job offer as
management consultant at Public Consulting Group, Inc., and moved to Charlotte, NC.
Completed projects in NC, TN, MA and HI. Living and working in Hawaii was the best,
especially “Aloha Fridays.” Second job was as deputy director of
World T.E.A.M. Sports, a sport non-profit for people with and
without disabilities. Helped organize 1,200 mile cycling event
called Vietnam Challenge in 1998 (popularized in Emmy Award winning
documentary entitled Vietnam,
Long Time Coming) and cross country cycling event called Face of
America in 2000. Most proud of receiving the Tufts University
Distinguished Alumni Award during the University’s 2000 Global
Symposium entitled Global Games: Sports, Politics and Society. Began
freelance writing and consulting in 2001. Have profiled top NASCAR
drivers and professional athletes, politicians, actors, comedians,
farmers, musicians and artists. Have also written about business,
housing, education, travel and quilting for local and national print
and online publications. Editorial team and contributing writer for
The Adversity Advantage,
published by Simon and Schuster in 2007. Founder and Chief Thinker,
Scratching Post Solutions (an innovative communication and
creativity enterprise) in 2008 (formally incorporated in 2012). 2012
spokesperson for National Mobility Awareness Month. Completing a
Played nearly every sport imaginable growing up
to avoid having to get a part time job (family rule was either an
extra curricular activity or a part time job). Frustrated parents
and ruined landscape by building a wiffle ball field in yard
complete with grass outfield, dirt infield, shrubs cut to resemble
foul poles and poorly wired lighting for night play. Broke numerous
garage windows playing street hockey and demolished cemented
basketball goal by dunking off trampoline and cars in driveway.
Three sport varsity athlete at Franklin High School (soccer, basketball and
track). Despite height, couldn’t dunk for real. Varsity soccer
player at Tufts
University. Semi-pro soccer in the
CCASL. Ran 1989 and 1990 Boston Marathons as a bandit. After injury,
introduced to wheelchair racing by racing pioneer, Bob Hall, and
swimming by US disabled swim team coach, Eileen Craffey, while in
rehabilitation. (Sports were more fun than staying in bed feeling
sorry for self.) Upon discharge, flew directly to
FL, for first competition. Fell
out of chair after hitting a garden hose in first ever event, a
wheelchair obstacle course. Have completed over 55 marathons
(including eighteen Boston Marathons) and have participated in
triathlon since 1999. USHF handcycling national criterium champion.
In 2001, earned a spot in the United States Quad Rugby Association
and US Paralympics High Performance Training Program. Spent three
years as a national team member competing for a spot on the Athens
2004 Paralympic team (of the movie
Murderball fame). Played
quad rugby for 13 years. Upon finishing the 2009 Beach to Battleship
Half Ironman (70.3 mile) triathlon, became the first complete quad
to race the distance solo! Navy team member and Bronze medalist at
the Inaugural 2010 Warrior Games at the USOC in Colorado Springs,
Bet you didn’t know:
Spent a decade working at Rose’s Restaurant in
Dennis, Cape Cod, MA.
Began driving at age 13 to pick up vegetables for the restaurant (I
looked old enough, the restaurant owner's never asked my age and
they had a cool, pimpin' Cadillac so who was I to turn down the
Eagle Scout. Once rescued a woman from drowning in
Officially recognized as the only person to ever complete the Boston
Marathon both on foot and in a wheelchair. First American to
complete a marathon in the new Millennium anywhere in the WORLD. Handcycled the length of
North Carolina’s Outer Banks, finishing one
day before a hurricane. Interests include music, travel,
photography, art, golf, sailing, people, reading and the outdoors.
We have a huge dog (a Rottie named Carly) and a tiny cat (a Tortie
named Abby) and they are buddies thanks to my wife's efforts.
Now for the fun facts you won’t find
anywhere else ----
kind of person who even has to put something fun like this on a “To
Do” list before I'll get it done.
For two decades I
drove a huge Econoline handicap van with a big bulky lift. Yes, I
was "King of the Road."
What made me
switch to a “Soccer Mom and Dad” mini-van? The sun roof option.
OK, full disclosure. I
also drive a beat up Saab convertible that I bought new in 1993.
It's my "therapist."
What’s on my bucket
list? Too much. That’s because the world always shows me
Beer? Stella Artois,
Pacifico or a good microbrew.
Wine? French sparkling
or Italian prosecco.
Mixed drink? Can’t say
I’ve ever had one.
45 mph. That’s the
fastest I’ve ever gone in my racing wheelchair. That’s fast!
I’d last about .002
seconds on "Survivor." I’ve got no social game. Plus, I get cranky
when I'm hungry.
I have lived in 5
different states in 3 different time zones.
I called Hawaii home
for one year. It is an amazingly beautiful, powerful, spiritual yet
remote and isolating place.
Just when I start
missing New England, I'll turn on the Weather Channel to see blizzards
and deep freezes.
When it’s warm, well,
that's when I miss New England a ton.
There is no place I’d
rather be than the beach.
Speaking of the beach,
in 1990, I injured my spinal cord in a diving accident on Pensacola
• Still, to this day, saying "I broke my neck" sends shivers down my
How did I
survive? Try swimming to shore when you can barely move (and
breathe). It was kinda surreal.
Kite surfing, stand-up
paddling, parkour and road cycling with clipless pedals? Not around when I could walk.
want to work in a Cirque-du-Soleil show just once.
So do snakes and
Name an 80’s
movie and I’ll quote it for you. Name an 80's song and I'll
sing it off key.
I write to share the
stories that make readers question who they are and wonder about who
they can become.
When I left my last
corporate job, I decided to go on a walkabout. So I flew to
Australia with a backpack.
I’d be happy if there
were more hours in a day. Why? I never seem to have enough time for
all my dreams.
I believe there is
unique, deep beauty in everything. Finding and seeing it can be a
I like to spend my days
discovering the wonder, excitement, marvel and beauty of life.
How do I try to live?
Ham and pineapple pizza.
Ketchup (not catsup) on my eggs.
All this will not be finished
in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first
thousand days, nor in the lifetime of this administration, nor even
perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
Inaugural Address, 1961