What makes a champion?
I took the title of this post from a blog written by our Business Mentor, Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist. We heard a different perspective on what it takes to be a champion when Brooke Hansen shared her story at the Casey Cardinia Business Group breakfast this week.
Imagine spending 20 years to get to your dream?
At the age of 6 Brooke Hansen decided she wanted to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. In 1994 at the age of 16 she was the youngest member of the Commonwealth Games team. So the trend was good. The years of training had gotten her that far. But in 1996 and again in 2000 she did not make the Olympic Team. She felt like quitting. And the statistics show how hard it is to make the Australian Olympic Swimming Team.
- 100,000 swimmers in Australia
- 1000 serious competitive swimmers fighting for a place in the team
- 42 swimmers selected for the Olympics Team
- 2 of them Breast Strokers
So she decided to give it one last try. She knew she had to change something or her results wouldn’t change. She also knew she would be considered too old to be competitive. So she got a different coach, a different training regime, focused on the little 1% things that would make the difference she needed, broke down her 4 years into individual 6 month goals and the final year gave up her 4 favourite things to eat or drink and pursued her dream with single minded conviction.
She made the Australian team for the 2004 Summer Olympics and came away with an Olympic Silver Medal for the 100m Breast Stroke and an Olympic Gold Medal for the Medley Relay. Not only had she represented Australia, but she had done us proud. She knew it and we heard it in her voice as she shared her story with us. However her story doesn’t end there.
Six weeks later she competed in the 2004 FINA Short Course World Championships where she won six Gold Medals. She is now a member of a very elite group to have ever done anything like that.
Her message to us was both inspiring and simple. Never give up on your dream.
I also recognised that she had done something else. She had focused and she had stepped up with courage and determination.
How to inspire
And she did something else that was both inspiring and moving. She brought her Gold and Silver Olympic Medals with her and they were passed around the room from table to table so we could hold them. They were heavier than I expected and it was quite an honour to hold them, the indisputable emblems of her champion spirit.
I went into the rest of my day more determined than ever to make a difference. Thank you for inspiring and challenging me.
Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.