Janine Shepherd’s story reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie. A champion cross-country skier in training for the Winter Olympics, her life was irrevocably altered when she was hit by a truck on a bike ride. Doctors warned her parents that she was not expected to survive her extensive injuries and even if she recovered, she would never walk again. Janine’s hopes of being an elite sportsperson were gone. But Janine refused to believe what medical staff were telling her and instead she focused every sinew of her being on healing her broken body and crushed morale. After spinal surgery and months in the hospital, she returned home in a wheelchair.
Struggling to come to terms with her shattered Olympic dreams, and wondering what life could now offer, Janine’s fighting spirit was rekindled watching small planes flying overhead. At that moment she said to herself, “If I can’t walk, I’ll fly.” And fly she did.
Janine’s miraculous recovery and subsequent achievements are a testament to the power of the human spirit, and one that will move and inspire all who hear it.
Today, Janine Shepherd is a best-selling author and internationally renowned speaker who travels extensively in Australia and all over the world sharing her story with others.
Janine’s story takes us on an amazing journey. An odyssey with so many twists and turns, so many deep valleys and steep hills. It mirrors the road we travel in our own lives every single day. This is a story that takes us from the pinnacle of elite athletics competition to the pain and fear of being wheelchair bound and facing the shattering reality of permanent injury; from the exhilaration of flight to the struggle of taking one difficult step at a time on a long road to recovery which continues to this day.
Janine featured on 60 Minutes, This is Your Life and ABC’s Talking Heads. Her life story has been made into a movie, shown world-wide. Janine was named one of “Ten Outstanding Young People of the World” by Junior Chamber International, and was honoured with an Order of Australia.
"Janine is a brilliant story teller who uses her wit, charm, humour, and impeccable timing to engage the audience. She shares her journey in an expansive, inspiring, and universal way that touches every heart in the room and invites each of us to dream...to reach...to grow beyond our preconceived limits. After the standing ovation subsided, we all wanted to run outside and shout our newly empowered mission to the heavens. I wish we could bottle what she offers and flow that elixir throughout the world.” Davidji-Chopra Center Lead Educator and Dean of Chopra Center University.
Janine's latest booked launched in 2017 DEFIANT takes readers from the pinnacle of elite athletics competition to the pain and fear of being wheelchair-bound and facing the shattering reality of life-threatening and permanent injury; from the exhilaration of flight to the struggle of taking one difficult step at a time on a long road to recovery, which continues to this day.