It’s no secret that many of us grow up idolizing our sports heroes both on and off the field. Athletes have a unique way of speaking to us on a foundational human level and, by reflecting on their own journeys, bringing out our most positive attributes. If you or your organization are looking for some major inspiration and an infectious sense of possibility from a group of people who don’t recognize words like “can’t,” “impossible,” and “give up,” look no further than our top Sports Keynote Speakers.
If you have never heard of Mia Hamm, well, the housing market is great right now and it’s time for you to sell your home from under that rock. Widely recognized as one of the greatest female soccer players of all time, Hamm’s legacy is impossible to sum up in a paragraph. Signing for the national team at age 15, Hamm would lead the U.S. to World Cup and Olympic soccer greatness multiple times over the course of her 15 plus year career.
Now retired, Hamm has dedicated her attention to inspiring a new generation to pursue their own dreams with the same dedication and passion that she brought to the table as a player. Her speech topics offer invaluable insights into the pursuit of excellence both on and off the field and an ability to rise to your personal best.
Chaunte Lowe is one of America’s most recognizable and decorated Olympic track stars and is the current world record holder for the women's high jump (2.05 meters, if you were curious) having shattered previous world records three times. She has represented the United States on six world championship teams, through four Olympic Games, and is continuing to train in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Off the track, Lowe is a devoted mother and teacher, bringing the same sense of inspiration and possibility to the young people in her life and helping them to achieve their own Gold Medal dreams. Her keynote speeches are focused on building good habits, making smart choices, and uncovering the greatness within.
Chris Mazder is a three-time winter Olympian, having proudly represented the U.S. in the luge and being the first American to win Silver in the Men’s Single Luge. Mazder is all about achieving and maintaining what he calls “peak performance,” or the ability to make the right decision at exactly the right moment. It makes a lot of sense when you consider that his day job involves barreling down an icy chute at speeds approaching 100 mph with only a thin sled between him and the hereafter. Mazder has an energetic, infectious personality and shares his secrets for operating at 110% when it matters most.
Imagine you train your entire life with the goal of playing Olympic Softball, only for the sport itself to be eliminated from the Olympic lineup. What do you do? Give up? Feel sorry for yourself? Not if you are Elana Myers Taylor. Taylor opted instead to refocus in an entirely different arena, retraining herself as a world class bobsled pilot. Spoiler alert: it worked. She is now the first woman to ever pilot a four man bobsled team in an international competition and the only woman to win a medal doing it.
Taylor’s keynote speech focuses on overcoming setbacks and persevering through intense adversity of all kinds. As a woman of color who made her mark in a predominately white, male world, Taylor has a special impact for anyone looking to disrupt their own status quo.
Winner of multiple Olympic medals and inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. World record holder in multiple swimming events. Winner of the Sullivan award, recognizing the U.S.A.’s top amateur athletes. Sound like someone who knows how to inspire? You’d be right. Janet Evans has been at the top of her game for multiple decades and has now parlayed her ridiculously impressive swimming career into success as an author and speaker on a wide range of topics, from technology to real estate.
With such a long and dynamic career, Evans has something for everyone, and her speech focuses on achieving personal excellence and navigating the transition from mere winner to champion.
When Jim Abbott played for team U.S.A. he helped win America’s first baseball Gold Medal in the 88’ Olympics. Later drafted by the Los Angeles Angels, he threw a no-hitter against the Yankees in 93’. The craziest part? He did it all one-handed. Literally.
Born without a right hand, Abbott has refused to let his disability hold him back from his dreams in any way, shape, or form. As a keynote speaker, he aims to instill the same determination into his audience. His keynote speech, A.D.A.P.T., shares five powerful strategies for overcoming any and all obstacles to reach your fullest potential.
Shannon Miller is one of America’s most decorated and recognizable gymnasts. Having competed in two Olympic Games, she came away with seven medals (two of which were Golds), and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, twice. She is perhaps most recognizable as the leader of the U.S. “Magnificent Seven” gymnastic squad from the 96’ games.
No stranger to setbacks, Miller famously competed in the Olympics weeks after breaking her elbow. In 2011, she was diagnosed with and ultimately beat, ovarian cancer. As a keynote speaker, Miller reflects on these challenges to inspire others to overcome and achieve, using what she terms the “Gold Medal Mindset.”
Melissa Stockwell was deployed to Iraq as a U.S. Army Second Lieutenant in 2004. Tragically, a blast from an IED ripped through her humvee and ultimately resulted in a loss of her left leg at only 20 years old.
Showing an enormous amount of determination and a refusal to quit, Stockwell did not let the accident slow her down and in the process has become an inspiration to millions of people around the world. She became the first Iraq War veteran to qualify for the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, competing in three swimming events. Later transitioning into Paratriathlon, Stockwell has recently won the Bronze Medal 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games. In her speech, “From Baghdad to Beijing and Beyond,” Stockwell challenges and inspires her audience to develop their own “I can do anything” attitudes.
David Feherty began his professional golf career as a young man of 17, competing in and ultimately winning many European tournaments and eventually leading the Irish National Golf Team to victory in the 1990 Alfred Dunhill Cup. Although he retired as a player in 1997, Feherty has parlayed his love for the game into a wildly successful career as a commentator. With over 20 years under his belt and a hilariously unique and relaxed style, Feherty has accumulated a number of accolades and come to be known worldwide as golf’s ultimate “wise guy.”
In his keynote address, Feherty regales the audience with equal parts humor and wisdom, inspiring his audience with lessons from his own life story and reminding his listeners that life, just like golf, should be fun.
If you are interested in bringing one of these amazing speakers to your next event, please contact the Executive Speakers Bureau.
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