Bill Schuffenhauer born June 24, 1973, is a United States of America Bobsledder who has competed since 2000. Competing in three Winter Olympics, he won the silver medal in the four-man event at Salt Lake City in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Bill grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and as a child, his parents were drug addicts, and his mother was a prostitute who was often beaten in front of him. He had to steal, eat from trash cans, and once was caught trying to break into a bicycle store to try to steal something to sell for food.
The few friends he had were mostly in street gangs, and Bill drank and smoked. His parents were often evicted, and he lived in foster homes. Schuffenhauer's maternal grandmother, Sadie Muniz, took him in as he was about to enter junior high in Roy, Utah "She reminded me to never give up and always push on," he said.
Because of his grandmother's influence, he began going to school and started to participate in track and field in his high school (Roy High), due to his great speed. He persevered to become an Olympian, and his coaches encouraged him greatly as well. He soon became a decathlete. He went to Weber State University and there he won the junior nationals in 1992. Additionally, he played American football in high school and was asked to play professionally in Florida.
Schuffenhauer's Olympics dream as a track and field athlete came to an end in 2000. While training for 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, he suffered a bad ankle injury and he could barely walk. When his friend told him that the U.S. Olympic team was practicing bobsledding in Park City, Utah, he took the chance to go and observe. While there, the team members noticed his 6 foot, 200-pound frame and asked him he wanted to be a pusher. He accepted and trained with the team from then on.
He was not originally slated to be a regular member but was promoted when one of the U.S. four-man team members tested positive for steroids. That crew, piloted by Todd Hays, won a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Games.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Bill's two-man team placed 14th, after which he retired. He had two children and he felt responsible for them. Bobsledders earn only a meager amount, but Bill made the tough decision to continue to aspire for qualification for 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He fought through a neck injury 2 Spinal disc herniated with the help of a chiropractor and a team physician.
In January 2010, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Bill and his 3 USA teammates placed sixth and qualified for 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and it was officially announced on January 17, 2010, that Bill's team would represent the United States at 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Bill still said, "The dream is happening right now. I'm here. That's all I wanted," he said. Then he added, "It would be nice to get a medal of any color." They finished 13th in the four-man event.
Following his Olympic victory, his professional career evolved to include participation in many national and international special events comprised of fundraisers, charity events, and keynote speaking opportunities, entertainment, and product promotions. Along with his long and successful devotion to sports, Bill has made a positive impact with local and national youth groups and with those of the business community as well. Bill addressed audiences that range from students to corporate executives, with audiences in excess of 1000 attendees and frequently partnered with Utah's First Lady, Mary Kaye Huntsman, in support of her nationwide program called "Power in You," geared towards the challenges facing school age children. Bill has also spoken to audiences at national and local organizations that included Volunteers of America's National Convention, National Attorneys General Convention, Verizon Communications, Weber State University School of Business Commencement Address, Glaxo Smith Pharmaceuticals, and the University Marketing Professors National Convention.
Topics of focus were the prevention of youth violence and drug abuse, the ability to face and overcome extreme obstacles, and the relationship between personal business practices and athletic accomplishments. Bill also has traveled the world as a motivational speaker and has worked with companies and organizations such as Budweiser, Special Olympics, United Way, Adecco, Glaxo Smith Klein and Proctor & Gamble.
Also being the CEO/President of a Corporate Retreat, Team Building, Event Planning and a Motivational Speaking company called Silver Retreats, Bill was tired of the old-fashioned employee retreats that were frequent through-out his careers. The retreat that is secretly dreaded because it entails sitting around a table for two days while employees listen to a supposed expert talk about how to maximize supply chain or how to boost morale and create a winning team. This is the primary driver of why Silver was created. Silver will change how employees view retreats and will come out engaged and ready to perform. Bill, appointed Jyl London as Chief Operating Officer of Silver Retreats. Jyl's experience directing Fortune 500 companies, Key Account Director in several high grossing companies, motivating teams internationally and the vast knowledge of event planning. Together Bill and Jyl have perfected an incredible retreat that is like no other. The combined experience of these two, lifelong passions for helping others and treating everyone like VIP will guarantee an outstanding experience that is far from the typical retreat or family vacation. It is no wonder why it is receiving award after award for its outstanding service and value since the team paired up. Jyl also acts as Bill's agent in booking motivational speaking and charity assignments through-out the world. They also have their own 501(c)3 non-profit organization called Love of Life Foundation.
To book Bill Schuffenhauer call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.
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