September 22, 2016
COLIN O’BRADY WAS BORN IN OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON ON MARCH 16, 1985. THE SON OF AN EAGLE SCOUT, COLIN SPENT HIS CHILDHOOD EXPLORING THE WILDERNESS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WITH HIS FAMILY. HE LEARNED ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING FROM HIS FATHER, AN ORGANIC FARMER, AND FROM HIS MOTHER AND STEPFATHER, CO-FOUNDERS OF A LOCAL, NATURAL FOODS GROCERY CHAIN.
Through passion, dedication, and hard work, Colin grew into a youth sports star. He won Oregon State Championships and received national honors in both swimming and soccer. Colin was recruited to swim at Yale University where he swam all four years.
During his time in college, Colin took a leave of absence to pursue a semester-long course with the National Outdoors Leadership School, mountaineering and kayaking in remote Patagonia, Chile. Later, while studying African economic development in college, he traveled to Tanzania, where he caught a glimpse of one of peaks of the Explorers Grand Slam, Mount Kilimanjaro. That day, a dream was born: to climb the Seven Summits.
In 2006, Colin graduated from Yale with a BA in economics. The day after graduation, he embarked on a 4000-mile cycling journey from Connecticut to Oregon, with the aim to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity.
Before beginning his career in finance, Colin left to explore the world on a backpacking trip. While in Thailand, Colin suffered a tragic accident and was severely burned in a fire. His injuries covered nearly 25% of his body, primarily damaging his legs and feet.
Doctors warned him he might never walk again normally, but Colin was determined to beat the odds. He focused not only on walking again, but set himself a goal: to complete a triathlon following his recovery. A mere 18 months after his accident while working as a trader in Chicago, Colin amazed the racing world when he placed first overall amateur at the 2009 Chicago Triathlon.
His victory in triathlon sparked a new path. Colin turned pro, and fulfilled his childhood dream of being a professional athlete. Over the last five years, he has represented the United States in triathlon competitions in 22 countries and on six continents. Meanwhile, the distant peaks still called to him: Colin finally summited Mount Kilimanjaro following a race in East Africa, and climbed Mount Fuji after racing in Japan.
Colin’s whole life has led him to the Explorers Grand Slam. This year, in addition to competing on the grueling Ironman circuit, Colin will cross-train in the mountains in preparation for a record-breaking performance. In 2016, Colin will attempt to become the fastest person ever to conquer the Explorers Grand Slam.
Colin’s active, healthy childhood laid the foundation for his success as an elite athlete today. He knows that he was fortunate to be exposed to healthy principles as a youth, and he hopes his record-breaking performance will inspire children to lead healthy lives and pursue their goals. BEYOND 7/2 aims to raise $1 million for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and their work to eliminate childhood obesity.