Lisa gets to hold the Gold. At the Accelerent evening event Lisa Suzye Kleiner had an opportunity to talk with Dan O’Brien. It was a great reception with high energy.
Dan O’Brien brought his message of overcoming adversity, setting goals, and living like a champion to the January Accelerent/Benefit Commerce Group Breakfast Event.
Dan is a former decathlete, 1996 Olympic gold medalist, TV personality, motivational speaker, author, and coach. But it wasn’t always rosy for him. Dan was adopted at age 2 and was raised in a home with seven other children of racially mixed backgrounds.
As he grew, he excelled in sports and was expected to easily be on the Olympic team in 1992. However, a bad day at the trials meant that he failed to qualify for the Olympic team that year, which was particularly embarrassing, since Reebok had run a large ad campaign, the Dan and Dave campaign, featuring Dan and rival Dave Johnson, debating who would take the title as “Word’s Greatest Athlete” at the ’92 Olympics.
But he didn’t stay down long. He qualified in 1996 and took the Olympic Gold Medal for the Decathlon that year in Atlanta.
My success on the track has taught me the lessons needed to be successful in life. Although I am done competing, the Olympic spirit is a constant inspiration for me each and every day.Dan O’Brien
Dan lives in Scottsdale, where he is an assistant volunteer coach at Arizona State University. He also trains athletes of all ages in sports ranging from tennis to football.