Bart Conner – USA Olympic Hall of Famer and World Champion on the Parallel Bars
“The key issue is for me is that I never saw any of it as a sacrifice, just choices. So, I never felt that I was missing something, only that I chose something else.”
Bart is one of the greatest gymnasts to ever compete in the Olympics. He was a member of the gold medal-winning men’s gymnastics team at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games where he won an individual gold medal on the parallel bars.
Rich Franklin – Former UFC Middleweight Champion
“When you do something you love, you don’t consider many things sacrifices other people would. However, to be the best, you must be willing to go beyond what your competition is willing to sacrifice.”
On April 5th, 2005, Rich competed in the main event of The Ultimate Figher 1 where he faced legendary Ken Shamrock. He won the fight with a TKO. He went on to become one of the greatest fighters in the history of the UFC with his win over Evan Tanner to become the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Brandi Chastain - Professional American Soccer Defender (Best Known For Her Game-winning penalty kick against China in 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup)
“I have been asked this question many times and I honestly and humbly answer that I don’t feel I sacrificed anything. I made the choices I did to play soccer and become a member of the US Women’s National Team because I loved it. If there was anything I wish I could alter, it would have been to have had the courage to have given birth to my son during my playing career so he could have met my parents. They so desperately wanted to be grandparents. Otherwise, I know that everything I did lead me to today and I am very satisfied with the path.”
Brandi is one of the top professional soccer players in the sport. She was a member of the United States women’s national soccer team. She has also played for the San Jose CyberRays of the WUSA and FC Gold Pride of Women’s Professional Soccer.
Lenny Krayzelburg – American Backstroke Swimmer, 4X Olympic Gold Medalist & Former World Record Holder
“I really don’t believe I had to make any sacrifices to get to the top, or at least I don’t view it as sacrifices. I was fortunate to have a talent and was willing to work extremely hard to take advantage of the opportunities that my career presented me. Although the daily grind of a professional athlete might not be fun and exciting, but traveling around the world for competitions, meeting new people, learning about various cultures is incredible… However to answer your question direct, if I can even call this sacrifices, I could not play other sports that I really enjoyed, basketball, tennis, soccer to avoid getting serious injury.”
Lenny is one of the greatest swimmers of all time. He is a former world record holder and Olympic swimmer where he won a total of 4 Olympic gold medals. He was also voted USA Swimmer of the Year between 1997 – 2000.
Natalie Coughlin – 11-time Olympic Medalist for Swimming & 1st Female Athlete In Olympic History To Win Six Medals In One Olympics
“Can’t think of any ONE thing that I’ve given up to reach my goals… it’s been a lifetime of making choices that have ultimately affected my swimming career (which started when I was a child).”
Natalie is one of the greatest swimmers in the history of the sport. In 2008 Summer Olympics she became the first American female athlete to win six medals in one Olympics as well as the first woman to win a 100 m backstroke gold in two consecutive Olympics. She also earned the World Swimmer of the Year Award one time and the American Swimmer of the Year Award three times. Photo Credit: “courtesy of O’Neill 365.”
Jennie Finch – Pitcher for the USA National Softball Team & Gold Medal Winner in 2004 Summer Olympics
“My biggest sacrifice probably would have been time away from my family, especially after I became a mother and was still competing on the USA Olympic team. I was blessed to have a lot of family support that allowed me to do what I love and also experience the best miracle of all, motherhood!”
Jennie is an extraordinary athlete. She was the pitcher for the USA national softball team and the Chicago Bandits. She helped lead Team USA to a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. Time Magazine described her as the most famous softball player in history.
Josh Davis - 5-Time Olympic Medalist Swimmer
“I never look at it as what did I have to give up. That implies that I was willing to sacrifice something good for me and I’m not willing to do that. I credit my success in the water to being compelled to develop myself outside the water. I got married, I started a family, I ran a business, and I became a traveling ambassador for the sport. I did all these things while training to be the best in the world in the pool–many athletes do not because it’s demands your very best in all areas of your life not just one; however, what I learned it that’s it’s about managing the distractions along the way to your goal that sets people apart. I think this is true of any goal your trying to accomplish whether it’s becoming a gold medalist or reaching a fitness goal–manage the distractions well and you’ll get to your goal.
The only thing I gave up was mediocrity”
In 1996, Josh made history when he became the only man at the Atlanta Olympic Games to win 3 gold medals. Josh was Captain of the USA Men’s swim Team and went on to break the American record three times in the 200 meter free-style at the 2000 Sydney Games. Josh is an ambassador for the sport of swimming and teaching the next generation how to excel at the sport.
Cheryl Bernard – Top Canadian Curling Champion
“Without a doubt the biggest sacrifice has been time. Time with my family and time with my friends.”
Cheryl is one of the top athletes in the sport of curling. In 2010, she represented Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics winning the silver medal after falling to Sweden in the finals. Throughout the 2000s, her team has been one of the top ranked teams in the sport.
Diandra Asbaty – World Ranking Masters Champion in Bowling & Gold Medalist
“Since I was a high school bowler, I have had to make sacrifices. Because I was bowling tournaments on the weekends, I had to pass on high school football games, parties, and other events that high schoolers look forward to. The same goes into college and now, as a mother and a wife, I don’t have the luxury of going on vacation any time I want. Yes, I get to travel for bowling which is amazing, but I’m working. So, it’s not as relaxing as a vacation would be. Because I am self employed, I feel that I never take a day off. I’m constantly working whether it be coaching, practicing, competing, writing, or running my newly founded youth scholarship tour. It’s a sacrifice I choose to make as an athlete to make sure that I am giving my all in all areas of my life.”
Diandra is currently in her 14th straight year on Team USA. She has over 60 international medals and most recently captured her first Major Professional Win at the USBC Queens. She is in the World Bowling Hall of Fame and is a multiple World Champion.
Rares Crisan – Winner of 2008 National Rowing Championships
“You sacrifice yourself to sport. If you’re not willing to let your mind go, your body fade, and your heart struggle, you’re not doing enough.”
Rares is one of the top rowing champions in the sport. In 2008 he won first place in the National Rowing Championships. In 2011, he placed 2nd is the World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland and in 2010, he placed 3rd in the World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro, New Zealand.
Gene LeBell – The “Godfather of Grappling,” & “The Toughest Man Alive” (as quoted by Chuck Norris)
“Didn’t have to sacrifice a thing. Working out everyday gained me a lot of things – more energy and a winning attitude.”
LeBell won the AAU National Judo Championships (both heavyweight and overall) in 1954 and 1955. He is a 10th Degeree Black Belt Kodokan Judo, International Kyokushin Budokai, 9th Degree Black Belt, US Ju-Jitsu Federation National AAUU Heavyweight Judo Champion (1954-1955), National Wrestling Association (NWA) Pro Wrestling Champion, Actor & Stuntman with over 1,000 movie and television credits, MMA Judge, Coach, Instructor and Boxing Referee
Simon Whitfield – Canadian Olympic Triathlon Champion
“The biggest sacrifice I make now is diversity of thoughts and interests. I’m obsessed with being better, being fitter, being more prepared, I look forward to being more diverse and balanced.”
Simon was the silver medalist in the triathlon in the 2004 Summer Olympics. He finished with a time of 1:48:58 just five seconds behind the German gold medalist. He also has several astounding accomplishments to his name in the sport of triathlon racing including: 12 national championships and 14 world cup victories.
Love this quote of his that was featured in an interview with Simon:
“Be relentless, be obsessed. Get obsessed, stay obsessed. The Gold is in the details”
Todd Rogers - Reigning AVP Tour Champion, FIVB World Champion & Olympic Gold Medalist
“There is not really one single thing that I have had to sacrifice to get to the top. However, I feel as though I sacrifice every day I am gone and not home with my wife and kids. I have been married for 15 years as of April 13th to an awesome women. I have 2 kids who are 13 and 11 and every year they have been alive it has become more and more difficult to be away from them. I hate missing their academic, athletic and life achievements. They are getting more and more of them and I am missing more and more of them and frankly it sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I play a kids game and my office is the beach. But playing all over the world, as glorious as it sounds, is hard on the body and even more difficult on the psyche while being away from the people who mean the most to you.”
Todd and his partner Phil Dalhausser were the AVP Tour champions in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. They are also the reigning FIVB world champions as well as Olympic gold medalists from the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
His team set new single season records for the most wins in a season on the FIVB, finishing as the world’s number one ranked team.
Kristine Lilly – Professional American Soccer Player and Most Capped Men’s or Women’s Soccer Player In The History Of The Sport
“I’m not sure I would call it sacrifices that I made to be the best I could, or more so just choices to want to play for my country.
I always put my training first. Whether it was cold outside and snowy, I still found a way to get a work out in. I always wanted to make sure I was fit enough to be ready to go into training camp with the U.S. national team. I did miss a lot of family functions and birthdays but my family was so supportive we made up for them in other ways. Going after your dream take a commitment and lots of support and hard work. I had all those pieces to be able to play for the U.S. for over 23 years. I enjoyed my career and all I put into it and got out of it…”
Kristine was a member of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team for 24 years as well as played for the Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). She is the most capped player in the history of the sport. She gained her 352nd and final cap against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier.
Dietmar Trillus – Professional Archer, 30 Meter World Record Holder & FITA Outdoor World Champion
“Becoming a world class archer takes a lot of willpower, determination, discipline and dedication. It is a very costly endeavor, to say the least, and takes a great deal of personal discipline to even get close to good enough to be able to compete against the best in the world. Basically I put my life on hold with other interests and hobbies to be able to invest the time and dedication it takes to become one of the best. It has come with many personal sacrifices to be able to do what I do. Everyone thinks it is all glory and a very elaborate lifestyle to travel the world and shoot for a living, this all comes at a very high price, mainly being family and friends as well as other personal interests. As they say, be careful of what you wish for! Everything comes at a price and everything is a double edged sword, so to speak. With all good, there is just as much bad.
However it has been a great ride and knowing what I know now, Yes, I would do it all over again. Not many people can make a living at something they truly love to do and I truly LOVE to shoot a bow! I have made some great friends around the world and seen some very interesting and beautiful places as well. Seen cultures and life styles I would have never seen, if it was not for archery and my ability to shoot as well as I do.
I might not be the BEST shot in the world, but just knowing that I am one of, is all that matters to me and being able to compete at the level I do, especially at the age I am, is for me the coolest thing in the world and makes it all worth it!
Another thing that makes this all worth while are the people that believe in me, my sponsors! They are a big part of how and why this has all happened for me. I have to thank Carbon Express, especially Lennie Rezmer, PSE, thank you David for believing in me, TruBall, Axcel, Flex Fletch, Americas Best Bowstrings, Doinker, BCY Bob and Chris, you are the best, Specialty Archery Products, Swarovski Optik, Ez Press, Lancaster Archery, The Bow Shop in Waterloo, without these people believing in me and helping me every step of the way, none of this would have ever been possible! I also have to thank Mathews Inc, for giving me the push to compete in target events and get out of shooting back yard 3D tournaments, they made me expand my horizons.”
Dietmar is one of the most accomplished archers in the history of the sport. He currently holds the 30 Meter World Record and has one first place in the 2007 FITA Outdoor World Championships. He also holds several other records in the sport of archery. To explore all of them, click here.
Jim Montgomery – First Man to Break 50 Seconds In the 100-Meter Freestyle & 3X Olympic Gold Medal Winner in Swimming
“Biggest sacrifice was giving up time spent with non swimming friends I grew up with and social activities we shared. In summer time was training 5 hours a day 6 days a week, if I went out socially once every two weeks that was it. I didn’t have time for dating in High school. College training atmosphere much different, there was more free time even with swimming 10-11 practices per week and school work.”
Jim is one of the most accomplished swimmers in the sport of swimming. He was the first man to every break the 50 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle. This feat was the equivalent to Roger Bannister’s four minute mile in the sport of track. He won two golds and a bronze in the 1976 Olympics and a record five golds in the first World Championships at Belgrade in 1973.
Todd Jarrett – National and World Practical Shooting Champion & Only USPSA Triple Crown Winner Ever
“As I sit here and think about that question. In the the beginning I don’t think that I was sacrificing anything at 20 years of age. But as time flew bye, I miss many things with my daughter, family and close non-shooting friends. But I look back now after almost 30 years of being in the Industry. My Family ( The Industry ) may not have been blood relative but now I have a global family. My Daughter turned out to be a wonderful women and my non-shooting friends are still here for me today. The biggest sacrifice of time will be the fault of airport delays.”
Todd is one of the greatest competitive shooters in the world. He is a National and World Practical Shooting Champion. He holds four World titles, nine National titles and has won over 50 Area championships. He is also the only USPSA Triple Crown Winner and holds four USPSA National titles.
Bruce Baumgartner -The Most Decorated American Wrestler of All Time & 4X Olympic Wresting Champion
“I believe less in sacrifice and more in choices. Everyone has a choice. When I was training to become an Olympic wrestler, sure I had to sacrifice spending time with friends or certain gatherings but it was always my choice.
We all sacrifice potential paths for the one that we create through our decisions. In one sense, many people sacrifice becoming an Olympic athlete. They don’t make the necessary choices to become one.”
Bruce is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He has won an Olympic medal in 4 separate Olympics in the sport of wrestling along with 9 World Championship Medals and 4 Pan-American Medals. To see a full list of his titles click here. I had the great blessing of talking to Bruce on the phone and he is as genuine as he is insightful.