Diann Roffe began skiing at age three, and continued her love of the sport to win two Olympic gold medals and a World Championship.
The world is full of parents like that of the Williams sisters', Tiger Woods', and fighting hockey parents. We always seem to read about the pushy parents of athletic superstars. If my parents walked in the room at a function I was at, they would not be known, unless they were introduced to the crowd. The quiet support I received from them was a foundation for other life skills! How many parents would load their children up before dawn to drive 6 hours to a ski race' Once they got us there, my brother and I were left to our own preparations as Mom and Dad became race volunteers for the day. I often didnt see them until awards at the end of the day. They were always there though. I recall the day I decided that I would throw a fit and have a little temper tantrum at the finish. I had seen my older brother do it, and it seemed like the accepted thing to do. I just wanted to let everyone else know that I was upset by my mistakes on course. Dad saw it all'. Very quietly after awards, (I had still won the race), we piled in the car for the drive home. Dad said I should get a lot of homework done in the next week, as I certainly wasnt going to be skiing. This time, I would sit out a week, next time, I would sit out a month' It was all very simple' I was responsible for my actions. Lesson number one in the book of sportsmanship!
Apparently there are state laws as to how many days of school you can miss. I was missing many days in becoming the number one ranked 16 year old in the country for skiing. To make a long story short, it took me five years and two summer sessions to graduate from high school. I was spending all winter in Europe at the old age of 16. That year, I was able to compete in the Junior World Championships and win the first ever medal for the U.S. The following year, I was the youngest and last member, named to the team for the World Championships in Italy. It turned out to be a good gamble for the coaching staff, as I then became the youngest ever Skiing World Champion in history. That kick started a long and rocky, but extremely successful career, that capped out with two Olympic medals. I was always a pressure performer. This mystified the coaches and the press alike. This became my namesake. Just when it seemed that all interested parties wanted to write me off, I would pull a huge worldwide result out of my pocket. This seemed to happen most often at the Olympics and World Championhips. Not a bad habit to fall into, and one that marked my career! These days are filled with the pursuit of another Olympic career. One of the oldest sports in the history of the Olympics, Three Day Eventing, is now on the top of my list. It seems, I have a drive for breaking many molds! Sharing parallels between sports and business boils down to sharpening your life skills to focus on successful habits. Good habits are created the same way bad ones are. Having the discipline to learn the difference between the two, and act positively, .every day, is a learned skill. People are not born with focus and motivation. They have to LEARN the process and then CHOOSE to see it through. Using adversity to fuel the fire within, is an art. Risk makes ordinary acts become exceptional. The understanding that we go around only once is this lifetime, and wanting to make it satisfying, takes the could have, would have, and should have, out of the picture. Inspiring people to recognize and act on their values, to better their everyday life, is something worth sharing. What good are Olympic medals if you cant share them I believe that success in life is a commitment that spans every minute of our waking hours. Success is a life skill, not just a specific focus. Everyday, all my decisions are made by my own choice. Everything happens to me for a reason. We make our own luck, better yet we position ourselves to be lucky. Life is not fair, it is what I make of it.