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Apolo Ohno's vision quest teaches us about commitment

Apolo Ohno's vision quest teaches us about commitment
February 24, 2010 Ignacio Fiallos

As a business keynote speaker, there are many great examples that help us become more successful in our lives. Here is one:

Apolo Ohno’s seventh medal broke a tie with long track speed skater Bonnie Blair. He now has two gold, two silver and three bronze medals in his three Olympic appearances, and has become  the most accomplished Winter Olympian of all time.

But that was not always the case. As a young skater, Ohno had a dismal failure at a huge meet. In his words-he simply gave up. His father, who is also his biggest fan, was disappointed, and knew a change was desperately needed. He put his son on what is known as a “vision quest”. He left Ohno at a desolated cabin on the shore of a lake in Washington-for eight days. On the last day, staring at the lake in the pouring rain-he decided.

Apolo wanted to be a great skater and he committed to his sport, like he never had. His father said that was the turning point in his historic career.

We can all learn from Apolo–talent is not enough. Success takes a long hard drive while being committed to your goals. Many of us will never go on a vision quest-but we all can learn from Apolo’s.

To see more about commitment and goal setting strategies, please see Full Throttle on

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and sales training speaker. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to and see his new book, Full Throttle on


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