Q Sports - Speakers

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Melanie's bio

Melanie Roach

2008 Olympian - American Record Holder

Autism Awareness Advocate

Mother of 3

What sets Melanie apart from other speakers: A virtual 'sure thing' to make the 2000 Olympic Team, Roach suffered a devastating and debilitating back injury weeks before her Olympic dream was supposed to come true.  Instead, unable to compete, she watched her dream slip through her fingers.  Eight years and three childrenlater, she finished what she started so many years ago, setting a new American weightlifting record with the world watching in Beijing.

Among the many physical obstacles overcome on her Olympic journey, Roach and her family have become the inspiration to families around the world who live among the challenges of autism.  Roach credits middle child Drew (5), who is autistic, as the blessing that provided her the proper perspective that unlocked her personal success, both in and out of sport.  Though Roach has not yet stood on an Olympic medals podium, her remarkable story of sport, family commitment, faith and attitude made her a media magnet en route to the Beijing Olympics and has left her as one of the most refreshing 'Olympic Speakers' our clients have come upon.

travels from:  Seattle, WA


Marlon speaking video

Marlon's bio


Marlon Shirley

World's Fastest Amputee, 2-Time Paralympic Gold Medalist, Holder of Three World Records

Foster Care and Homeless Activist

What sets Marlon apart from other speakers: Aside from the obvious answer of 'one leg', what most distinguishes Marlon from others speakers is the journey of where he has come from to where he is today. To describe Marlon's childhood as humble or underprivileged would be far too generous. He has endured unthinkable early life hardships including failed foster care, multiple adoptions and a tragic accident. Despite challenges that would make an ordinary life remarkable, Marlon has found a way to lead an extraordinary life and achieve what none before him have been able to do. 

Off the track Marlon has created ‘Marlon Shirley’s Champions in Life’, a mentoring program for other homeless and foster children. He is a dynamic and inspirational public speaker who regularly shares his remarkable story with organizations and corporations across the country.  He has been recognized by the United Nations as a Role Model of the 21st Century’, is a two time ESPN ESPY Award winner and the recipient of the US Olympic Spirit Award.

What Marlon speaks about: Marlon's primary message revolves around perseverance and the inner ability in each of us to simply 'find a way' when properly motivated. Stories of his childhood are shockingly captivating, his methods for overcoming one's obstacles are refreshingly motivational and his recounts of his crowning achievements on the track are both heart warming and inspirational.

travels from:  San Diego, CA

Joey  speaking video

Joey's bio

Joey's webpage

Joey Cheek

Olympic Gold, Silver & Bronze medalist - World Champion - Humanitarian - Darfur Activist

What sets Joey apart from other speakers: Aside from his remarkable on-ice accomplishments, when the entire world's media put their cameras on Cheek for the first time as the newly crowned Olympic champion he refused to speak about his own accomplishment. Instead, Cheek used his moment in the spotlight to speak out on behalf of the imperiled people of the Darfur region of Sudan. Cheek then donated $40,000 of his own money to relief efforts and challenged individuals and corporations to do the same.  He has raised over $1,000,000.00 for the people of Darfur.  Time Magazine has recognized him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, President Clinton unexpectedly called him to the stage to discuss his work in front of countless world leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative and the Heisman Trophy Foundation honored him as the first ever recipient of the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

What Joey speaks about: Joey's unlikely rise from rural North Carolina to the gold medal throne of the fastest man in the world is wrought with inspirational and motivational messages.  He eloquently relays how the principles of chasing an Olympic gold medal can be transferred to peak performance in the business world.  Cheek also speaks of global citizenship, and the importance of utilizing one's personal sphere of influence and expertise to the betterment of others....giving back.

travels from:  Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Derek's bio

Derek's webpage

Derek Parra

Olympic Gold & Silver medalist - World Record Holder - Latino Pioneer

What sets Derek apart from other speakers: From a most unlikely starting point and heritage, combined with a diminutive 5'3" frame, Derek Parra overcame countless obstacles to go where no Latino had ever (or since) gone before - the top step of the Winter Olympic medal's podium. Affectionately known as the 'Home Depot' guy Parra's inspirational story took a convoluted path from the heat of a humble southern California childhood to the ice and snow covered peaks of Salt Lake City. Parra's award winning autobiography 'Reflections in the Ice' chronicles his story. He has received the  prestigious Hispanic Heritage Award and been an invited keynote speaker for the National Council of LaRaza (NCLR), LARASA, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the US Hispanic Leadership Institute and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. He has been named as one of Hispanic Business Magazine's 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.

What Derek speaks about: Derek shares inspirational and motivational (and when appropriate spiritual) excerpts of his Olympic journey.  His primary key-note address "Reflections in the Ice" shares a handful of life changing stories that define characteristics of success in any field.  Parra is a gifted story-teller and one of the most charismatic and emotional speakers in the athletic arena. He is known for bringing audiences to tears (literally).

travels from:  Salt Lake City, UT


Peter's bio


Peter Vidmar

Olympic Gold & Silver medalist -

What sets Peter apart from other speakers: Peter is the highest scoring American gymnast in Olympic history.  The winner of numerous national and international titles, he finished his athletic career at the 1984 Olympic Games. As the USA men's gymnastics team captain, he led his teammates to America's first team gold medal with their stunning upset victory over the defending world champions, the People's Republic of China. He went on to win the silver medal in the individual all-around competition (the only American to have ever won an Olympic All-Around medal), and with a perfect score of 10, he captured the gold medal on the pommel horse.

Peter is now a powerful and entertaining speaker at corporate meetings and trade shows. With 2 decades of experience helping people throughout the country to realize their own potential, Peter does much more than just speak about his experiences. In his inspiring, humorous, and entertaining presentations, he also performs portions of his Olympic routine on the pommel horse to drive home his message. He demonstrates the three components of a perfect score in gymnastics - Risk, Originality and Virtuosity (ROV) - and discusses how they apply to success in business and in life. His message brings something unique and refreshing to the corporate arena.

What Peter speaks about:

Motivation — ROV... Risk, Originality and Virtuosity.
In his powerful keynote presentation, Peter converts Olympic Gold into corporate wisdom. With a live demonstration on the pommel horse, artfully blended into his speech, Peter uses the ROV principles to vividly describe requirements for a perfect 10 in business and in life. Audiences gain fresh perspectives on reaching higher levels of performance, using their creativity to separate them from the competition, and perfecting their needed skills on a daily basis. As Peter says, "If you want to be at your best when it really matters, you've got to be at your best every time." Humor, relevance to his audience, high energy, drama and standing ovations are all characteristic of this presentation.

Teamwork — Getting your Team on the Podium
Gymnastics, while a team sport, is based entirely on a collection of individual performances for it's outcome. At the Olympic Games, while he was competing with his teammates, Peter was simultaneously competing against them for individual medals. So how did these athletes work together on a daily basis for the benefit of the team? Using the ROV principles, Peter answers this important question, describing the tools he and his teammates applied, every day, to reach the top of the Olympic Podium, both as a team and as individuals.

Innovation Pushing The Envelope
One of the reasons gymnastics is the most watched event of the Olympic Games is that the viewer can always expect something new and different from the athletes. Gymnasts are masters at pushing the envelope, as they constantly try to reinvent their athletic art form. Innovation also involves some risk, and Peter shows how the judging category of ROV: Risk, Originality, and Virtuosity, became a mandate for constant change in his sport. In describing how we need to stop playing catch up with the competition, Peter says, "A perfect 10 just a few years ago may only score an 8.5 today. If I don't innovate, I'll be left behind very quickly!"

travels from:  Southern CA

Devon's bio


Devon Harris

3 Time Olympian - Captain JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM

What sets Devon apart from other speakers: As an original Jamaican bobsled team member and 3-time Olympian, Devon Harris achieved his grand dream. His current dream is to inspire others to achieve theirs. Tapping the same energy and determination that enabled him to bobsled with the best in the world, Devon is now sparking audiences of all ages to dream big and take their "game" to the next level. His inspiring story combined with his sincere desire to teach others how to overcome life's obstacles is quickly turning Devon into a highly regarded international motivational speaker and workshop facilitator.

What Devon speaks about: Devon's keynote presentations focus on the importance of having a dream, persistence in overcoming adversity, embracing change and not allowing others to define the limits of your success. He delivers programs that are comprehensively customized, inspirational and vividly descriptive; drawing strong analogies to his experiences growing up in a violent ghetto environment and achieving the status of a three-time Olympic athlete and member of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team.

Hot Lessons from Cool Runnings - Coaching for Sales and Personal success - Suitable for a kick-off or closing presentation, this motivational program draws from the powerful experiences of the real life Jamaican Bobsled Team as well as those espoused in the Disney blockbuster movie “Cool Runnings.” This dynamic presentation is as light hearted as it is poignant. The audience will leave laughing, inspired and with a better understanding of what it takes to achieve the impossible.

The Power and Magic of Teamwork - This program is also suitable as an event kickoff. As the Captain of the Jamaican Bobsled Team and a former Captain in the Jamaica Defense Force, Devon knows what it takes to develop, inspire and direct a winning team. An incredible program for leadership and management training seminars, attendees will translate the challenges and triumphs of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team into easily applicable lessons for today’s managers and tomorrow’s leaders.

travels from:  New York, NY


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