Udo Hessels exemplifies the KPMG difference. As a young man, Udo was a competitive sailor in the Netherlands. But at the age of 25, all of that changed when he was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor that led to complete paralysis of his legs.
“At first, I felt that my life was over,” admitted Udo Hessels. “Then one day, I read about a disabled sailing team from the Netherlands that was heading to the World Games in Barcelona in 1992.” Since then, Udo has participated in four Paralympic Games, winning a Silver Medal in 2004 (Athens) and a Gold Medal in 2012 (London). His team also won countless international events including two World Championships.
Udo Hessels, IT Manager and 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist
“When we are racing, I focus on the same things that our professionals do at client offices: being forward-thinking and innovative,” noted Udo. “I’m the helmsman of the ship, so if I’m not constantly assessing the conditions ahead or being collaborative and communicating with my team, we lose.”
Udo attributes much of his success to the support he has received from his colleagues at KPMG in the Netherlands. “I’ve been at KPMG for more than 25 years and – throughout – the firm has strongly supported my dream of being a champion,” added Udo. “From the emotional support to the flexibility to train; I couldn’t have achieved this without my colleagues at KPMG.”
Michael Andrew, Chairman, KPMG International, said “I am proud to lead an organization that enables its people to achieve not only their professional goals, but also to realize their personal dreams. I am inspired by Udo’s achievements.”
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