Annabelle Williams

Annabelle Williams

Paralympic Gold Medalist, Grit and Gold Pty Ltd, Australia
Work Experience: 10+ years in elite sports, 3+ years as motivational speaker

“I derive so much joy out of helping others — whether my experience relates on a professional or personal level. And I believe that we all have a greater power within: We just have to learn how to realize it.”

Career Highlights

  • Founder and CEO of Grit & Gold Pty Ltd., company for motivational speaking engagements around the world, 2019–present
  • Vice President of Paralympics Australia, 2018–present
  • Serves on the Board of Directors for several businesses and organizations, including Reaction, Swimming Australia, and ChildFund Australia
  • Vice President of the Australian Swimmers’ Association, 2013–2020
  • TV reporter and sports commentator for the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, and Invictus Games, 2018
  • Legal Counsel for the Australian Olympic Committee, 2015–2019
  • Competed in two Paralympic Games and broke five world records for swimming in Butterfly and Freestyle
  • Won numerous medals for Australia, including gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
  • Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia at age 24 for service to sport as a strong advocate for athletes’ rights
  • Co-captain of the Australian swim team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing
  • TED Speaker
  • Volunteer Ambassador for the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Challenge, 2012–present, National Australia Day Council, 2013–present, and Indigenous Marathon Foundation, 2017–present

Education

  • Stanford Executive Program graduate, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, delivered the valedictory address, 2019
  • Bachelor of Law and International Relations, graduated with honors, from Bond University, Robina, Australia

Featured Publications

  • “The Landscape of Sports Law in Australia – Regulation of an Industry.” Sweet & Maxwell’s International Sports Law Review, 2017.
  • “All Brawn and a Pig’s Brain: The AFL Football Scandal.” Sports Law, Administration and Practice (UK), 2013.

My Journey in Sports

Across my career, I’ve taken on many different roles: motivational speaker, Paralympic gold medalist, five-time world record holder, corporate lawyer, sports broadcaster, and most recently, mom. I was born without a left hand and forearm, but haven’t let that negatively influence my life. On the contrary, growing up with a disability and competing as an elite athlete gave me resilience, grit, and determination.

Today, I speak to audiences around the world, inspiring them to be vulnerable, courageous, and kind to both themselves and others. My goal is to empower others to overcome challenges and become their best selves. In my TED Talk, I express how even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way.

I’m also a diversity advocate, collaborating with corporations, educational institutions, and diversity councils about how to incorporate equality and inclusion into their policies and decision-making processes.

I admire how Flo’s content aims to be inclusive of people from all backgrounds, and it’s a pleasure to partner with them as a member of the medical board.

Fun Facts

I was, for a fleeting moment, Charlize Theron’s stunt double in Mad Max: Fury Road.

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