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Behind the Rings: Top Five Winter Olympics Speakers

  • By Noah Schwartz
  •  Feb 08, 2022

The Winter Olympics are well underway and Team USA is in Beijing, China to represent our country. While the Games continue, and while we wait for the Winter Paralympics to commence at the beginning of March, there are many speakers available to book on Engage that will definitely entertain your audience. Throughout the years, the Winter Olympics have provided heartwarming stories of perseverance and hard work, and any of the speakers on Engage will be able to bring those stories straight to anyone in attendance. Check out the Top 5 Winter Olympics speakers to book on Engage today:

5. Joey Cheek

Joey Cheek is an American Olympic speed skater. Cheek won a bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. After his silver medal win in 2006, Cheek decided to donate the entirety of his Olympic medal bonus to the Darfur region of Sudan. He is the co-founder and president of Team Darfur, which is a group of athlete’s from around the world that come together to work to bring an end to the crisis in Darfur. Just before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which Cheek planned to attend in order to support the athletes on Team Darfur, Cheek had his visa revoked by the Chinese embassy. Cheek has impactful stories to share from his life that has been a fantastic combination of sports and philanthropy, and he is sure to excite everyone in attendance as the keynote speaker at your next event.

4. Bonnie Blair

Bonnie Blair is a retired American speed skater. During her tenure on team USA, Blair competed in four Olympics including Sarajevo in 1984, Calgary in 1988, Albertville in 1992 and Lillehammer in 1994. Blair won five gold medals and one bronze medal before retiring. She gained a spot on the US Olympic team on her very first attempt, and throughout her efforts, she had the support of her whole town of Champaign, Illinois behind her. Her training in Europe was partially sponsored by the Champaign Policemen’s Benevolent Association and their contribution was more than worth it as 19-year-old Blair began her rise to legendary status in her sport. Blair has been an ambassador and supporter of Right to Play, an international nonprofit started by a fellow speedskater Johann Olav Koss, who has the mission to empower vulnerable children who have been impacted by war, poverty and disease through play. Blair is outgoing and ready to bring her energy and stories to your audience.

3. Amanda Kessel

Amanda Kessel is a professional ice hockey player for the United States Women’s National Hockey team and the Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League. As a member of the US Women’s National Team, Kessel was a gold medalist in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and a silver medalist in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Before her time on the USWNT, Kessel played her collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota, where she won three national championships. Kessel is the creator of The Amanda Kessel Collection, a collaboration with Gongshow, a prominent hockey brand. Kessel believes that representing her country is the biggest honor she could ever receive and if you book her today on Engage, your audience will be on the edge of their seats with her great stories of the road to Olympic glory.

2. Chris Waddell

Chris Waddell is a US Paraolympian. While ski racing on the collegiate level at the young age of 20, Waddell damaged his spinal cord when his ski popped off and he fell in the middle of a turn, causing him to break two vertebrae. However, Waddell was not about to let his injury stop him from achieving his goals and participating in the sport that he loved so much. Though he had just become paralyzed from the waist down, Waddell relearned to ski and joined the US Diasabled Ski Team. Waddell has won 12 medals in the sport and has been inducted into both the Paralympics Hall of Fame and the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Waddell has not only dedicated his life to his sport, but also to changing the world’s perception of disability. He is the subject of a documentary, 1Revolution, and his story comes alive in his first book, “Things I Want to Remember Not To Forget.” Additionally, Waddell is the author of three children's books. Waddell has been named to NPR’s list of “The Best Graduation Speeches, Ever,” for his speech at his alma mater, Middlebury College, so book him to make sure that you have the best keynote, ever.

1. Mike Modano

Mike Modano is a retired professional ice hockey player. His professional career began in 1998, when he was drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft. His career in the NHL was mostly with the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars franchises, and with those two teams he is the all-time goal-scoring and points leader amongst American-born players in the NHL. Modano competed for Team USA in the 1998 Games in Nagano, the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, and the 2006 Games in Turin. Outside of his career on the ice, he is the founder of the Mike Modano Foundation, which works to raise awareness and funding for organizations that offer education and assistance to children and families that have been affected by child abuse. Modano has represented Team USA in international competition across three decades and he would make the perfect keynote speaker to bring the Olympic spirit to anyone in your audience.

Should I book a speaker for my event?

In today’s age, our attention span is dwindling. A technological era in which we can get rushes of dopamine to our brain in a couple seconds by scrolling on a variety of social media platforms has created an atmosphere where we quickly become uninterested by something if we are not immediately curious to hear more. In an event, this means being able to grab your audience’s attention immediately and pull them in, wanting to hear more. This is where hiring a speaker for an event comes into play. The speakers that are on Engage’s website are some of the most high-class, interesting stories you will ever hear. Engage has the stories and speakers that will hold your audience captive with interest. 

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