Top Olympic Speaker

The Olympic Mindset

DH: Hey guys, welcome to keep on pushing radio. I am your host Devon Harris and you know what we do here. We work to share with you, ideas and insights that are going to inspire you, ideas that are going to challenge you to keep on pushing and live your best life. So, hey, is that something you’re interested in? Well, if you are you are, you’re in the absolute right place. So, again, welcome!

How do you give more when you fail, how do you first of all mourn and then work through that failure? When your dreams get dashed my friends, how do you reset your mind? Well, our guest today, I think can help provide us with some answers to some of those questions. At least give us a perspective on some of those questions and more. He has experienced a roller coaster of those emotions and you know what? He came out on the other end smelling like a rose, man. He was a standout athlete in high school and college at the University of North Texas, he lettered into sports track and football. 

He is a former professional football player, spent time with the Buffalo Bills and the fame Green Bay Packers. He also played some football up north in Canada in the Canadian Football League, spending time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He is an entrepreneur, an author, he is an international motivational keynote speaker. And yes, you guessed right? This dude is an Olympian, man! He represented the United States in the sport of all sports. Yes, you guess right again….bobsledding! It is awesome, such an honor to have another bobsledder on the podcast so I’m really pleased and excited to introduce to you, Mr. Johnny Quinn. Johnny, welcome to keep on pushing. 

JQ: Devon thanks for having me on I’m so excited to sync up with you, you know your history as a bobsledder, man what a privilege to speak to the legend himself. 

DH: Thank you man it’s great. You know the first time I heard about Johnny Quinn, it was actually during the Russian Olympics in Sochi and you were a social media sensation. You were all over the Press giving new meaning to the terms “breaking down barriers and “kicking down doors.” So, tell us about that a little bit? 

JQ: Yes. Had I have known that breaking down a door in the Olympics would have created so much excitement I would have kept some of that door from Russia. It was crazy. It was the day after the Opening Ceremonies, the adrenaline and everything is running high and you know, long story short. I got stuck in my bathroom and had to break out of that door, took a picture, put it on social media and I think the BBC took it first then it went out to Yahoo, and it just went crazy. In 24 hours, it picked up twenty-eight thousand retweets. It was crazy. So, it’s been a neat experience. 

DH: Well, they talk about breaking down doors and like I said, you just gave that a brand-new meaning. You broke down a door to get into the Olympics, that’s awesome. So, we’re going to get into your story in a little bit here Johnny, but tell me what was it like, you dedicated four years of your life to this goal, this dream. Here you are wearing and representing the red, white, and blue in the Opening Ceremonies, man. What was that like, what did that moment mean to you?

JQ: It was so special; it was hard work has paid off; somewhat like a reward. When you walk in Opening Ceremonies and you hear them say “the United States” and you know, you’re there with your teammates that you spent years sacrificing and working for a common goal together. It’s a little bit surreal because this is what you’ve been working for and now, you’re here and so that was one part of it. The other part is you still have a job to do and race day was a couple of weeks away and the four-man was towards the end of the Olympics. And so, although we were excited as you should be walking into an Opening Ceremonies and making a team, we knew there were still work to be done and so you still had that anticipation of race day. 

DH: Yes, it’s amazing. You’re absolutely right because you put so much effort into four years, in your case; now you’re at the Olympic Games, you’re at the Opening Ceremonies. And when your first named to the team you know you’re going but now this is kind of like the first real proof that you’re an Olympian. And you said something interesting……as Bobsledders, it’s the worst. You’re at the Opening Ceremonies and you’re enjoying everything, there are some guys who have their events on the first days and they’re done.

And then it’s two weeks apart but your event, the four-man is at the end of the Olympics.

JQ: That’s right. So, you have to stay focused and like you said the adrenaline, the excitement, the energy and you have to be able to manage that because you don’t want to waste all the energy up front because you still have to race. 

DH: Yes, you still have to do the job as you said that you went there to do. So, here you are the Olympic Games, you’re at the pinnacle of your athletic career in Sochi but we know your journey started many years and many miles away from there. What was life like growing up in McKinney, Texas? 

JQ: Yes. You know, when you grow up in Texas and you play sports you don’t think bobsled you think football and so my goal growing up early – early when I was five, six, seven years old was to go to the National Football League. I wanted to be a pro football player and I played a lot of sports growing up but for whatever reason, football just stuck with me. And so, I realized at a young age that if I want to go to the NFL which is a big goal for anybody Devon, I can’t sit back and hope that it happens I have to actively pursue it.

I come from a family that I didn’t need my parents to push me, right? It wasn’t like, “Hey Johnny, you have practice in an hour so let’s get in the car.” I was beating them down saying, “Hey, take me to the park, take me somewhere I need to get better”. So, early on it was easy for me as far as knowing because I had this massive goal and even being so young – there’s common sense to knowing that if you want something you can’t sit back and wait or hope that it happens, you have to actively pursue. 

DH: That’s awesome. So, you play football and I read where at the end of high school, you didn’t get offered any scholarships. But let’s make it clear, I mean, it’s not that you’re a scrub, you’re one of the top players – you led Texas with touchdowns and receptions and receiving yards. So, you did everything you were supposed to do but you didn’t get the rewards. What was that like and what do you say to people who have similar experiences to you; they put the work in and they don’t see the results?

JQ: Initially Devon, there was frustration because as a family we were so confused.  Here’s what we were told by all the recruiters and all the scouts and it sounds truthful and it seems realistic but we were told, “Hey, if you have all the stats, if you make all the plays and you lead the State of Texas then you’re going to get scholarships.”

DH: But you were leading the football state! 

JQ: That’s what I’m saying. And so, we’re like, “Well, I did all that so where are the scholarships?” And so, although we were frustrated, which is a right feeling to have in that scenario because it’s like I don’t get it right? Devon, it was an early life lesson for me in that I’m 18 years old, led the state of Texas, I don’t have any scholarships so what in the world’s going on? Again, it just reinforced the fact of okay, looks like we’re going to have to do this the hard way. It’s not game over, it’s not well, I guess it just didn’t work out’. It’s no, let’s go and pursue an opportunity where I’m in control and where my actions are controlled.

So, here’s what we did. My family, we got in the car and I drove to Texas Tech, I went to one of their camps to work out in front of the coaches, went to North Texas, went to SMU…… action. And I think you’re starting to see a theme here, action!

DH: Yes, agreed. 

JQ: We took action and turns out I had one scholarship come in,  two days before signing day. Think about that, right? I lead the State of Texas in catches, no scholarships, and I finally get one…….. two days before signing day. And so, of course, I couldn’t turn that down I was so glad that it worked out so well. 

DH: Awesome. But you’re right though, it comes down to action Johnny, we are run into these roadblocks all the time and you go, “Oh my God, what should I do? Throw your hands in the air and feel more frustrated? No, do something. You do the one thing you can control, which is to take action and so you did and you ended up at North Texas. You’re a leader on the team – team captain for two years, the school’s all-time leading rusher. In fact, you did so well you were inducted in the Hall of Fame. Congratulations!

JQ: Thank you. 

DH: And then at the end of it all when you’re assessing yourself and comparing yourself to all the other wide receivers across the nation statistically, you’re in the top 10. So, you must be feeling pretty good about yourself? 

JQ: Very good about the NFL draft and you know, what’s funny Devon is we got an agent and I remember he called me one night and he goes, “Johnny, I’ve got some great news.” I’m thinking, “what’s up?” Because I think you’re going to get drafted and he said something similar what you said, he goes, “Of all the receivers coming out you’re in the top ten in career receptions, career yards, career touchdowns.” And they go, you know, we looked at the previous 9 NFL drafts and they’re drafting somewhere between 28 to 32 wide receivers. So, I’m like okay, if they’re drafted 28 to 32 and my production says I’m in the top 10.

DH: It’s a no-brainer, right? 

JQ: It’s a no-brainer! All I’m doing is counting the clock, I’m waiting till draft day -I’m waiting on the NFL draft to start. When the NFL draft came it was in my senior year and thirty-five wide receivers were drafted and I was not one of them. So, here’s the lesson again, I experienced it at 18, leading the State of Texas and barely got recruited, I’m experiencing it again. I’m top 10 in production and I don’t get rewarded and so I realized here we go; we’re going to have to do this the hard way. 

DH: Did you felt crushed at any point in time during that process? 

JQ: I felt disappointed. I felt frustrated. I really maxed out every opportunity in college. My scholarship was in football, but I knew if I wanted to go to the NFL I had to get faster and so I walked onto the track and field team. And so literally, in the fall I’m playing football, in the spring I’m running track and I did that for four years for this ultimate goal to come true. Its draft time and Devon, I don’t get drafted and I’m really upset. 

DH: Yes. All the stars seem to be lined up and…

JQ: What I was most upset with because I wasn’t that fast was, I was so much better at football. I’m thinking why did I run four years of Division 1 college track and I can’t even get any – You know what I mean? Here’s what’s funny and I’m sure we’ll get to this, doing track was the best thing for my bobsledding career, but I didn’t know it then. 

DH: But that’s the thing though about how life operates and how dreams become unfolded. You put the work in and then an opportunity turns up and so here you are. But eventually though, you did sign with a football team?

JQ: Yes. So, right after the draft, we had a couple of free agent contracts come in so I didn’t stay frustrated for too long because I did have my first NFL contract come in from the Buffalo Bills and I signed a three-year deal for 1.2 million dollars. It was incredible. 

DH: Yes. So, you’re 22 years old and a childhood dream is coming to life. You must have been on top of the world, man?

JQ: Yes. I was so excited because I had an NFL deal on the table. I’ve got my hat on and I’m signing. I’m going to Buffalo but Devon, I still had that chip on my shoulder because they didn’t draft me. Nobody drafted me so what it did,  it reminded me of something I already experienced….. I didn’t get recruited. The stakes are higher now because I’m going to the NFL but look that’s fine, we’ll just do this the hard way. 

DH: Cool. So, you get to Buffalo and you get right into it. What happened?

JQ: Get right into it and in day three, I tear my hamstring running that first route. You know, day 3 of my childhood dream coming through, a hamstring and I’m thinking I ran four years of division 1 track and never had a hamstring but day three and I think we all know what the NFL …..stands for not for long.

DH: Not for long, dude.

JQ: They cut me and I was out of there.

DH: Wow! That must have been a blow. So, you’re home for how long before you get signed by the Packers?

JQ: So, they cut me in June and then I go work out for Green Bay in November. Workout went great, but they didn’t sign me until the end of the season. And so, I signed my contract in like January when they got knocked out of the playoffs. It was Farve’s last game as a Packer. And so yes,  
I reported to Green Bay in 2008 and I was thinking….Bills in ’07, that was a short stand. I go to Green Bay in ’08 but I felt more mature. I had a little bit of experience in the locker room, I understood kind of the flow. So, I’m thinking okay, I have a second opportunity, most people don’t even get one opportunity and here is one so let’s maximize this. 

DH: Yes. So, you ended up playing pre-season in Green Bay?

16:00 JQ: Yes. So, things went well in Green Bay and I’m second string on all the Special Teams going into the last pre-season game and you know when you’re a free agent you get on by playing special teams. And so, I understood what it would take and I was playing good ball but at the end of the day Devon, I get cut again. 

DH: Not for long! But in true keep on pushing fashion, I’m going to say, you and your agent kept at it and so you ended up in Canada in the CFL. 

16:37 JQ: Yes. So, at that point, my agent couldn’t find a team in the NFL and he sends me North to the Canadian Football League where I go to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Devon, when you grow up in Texas, right, you don’t think CFL you think NFL so here’s what I realized, I’m just facing some adversity. It’s only a matter of time you know. It’s a different path for me. 

DH: That’s right. The NFL train is rolling, you’ve just taken a detour through the CFL?

JQ: Right, I’m just on a detour. I’ll be back in another Camp next year . I’ll go play some ball, make a little bit of money and get some experience. So, I enjoyed my time in Saskatchewan. It’s a great league for receivers. They’re always throwing the ball. I’m getting great film.  I finally become a starter midway through the season and last game before the playoffs, I run a 3 steps slant, which in football is like a route you run in seventh grade because it’s a very basic route. When I put my foot in the ground my ankle stays my body goes one way and I blow out my knee.

DH: I mean, you can’t get anything going right, can you?

 JQ: I know right? like “come on!”

17:52 DH: Right. Which of the GM’s told you that you weren’t good enough, was it one from the NFL or the CFL?

JQ: The NFL. 

DH: So, when someone says that to you Johnny, hey, you’re not good enough. What goes through your mind, how do you respond to that and how would you advise all the young Johnny’s out there?

18:18 JQ: Well, part of it like, hey, look that’s your personal opinion, right? I don’t know. I come from a wonderful family; I’ve got wonderful friends that surrounded me so I always knew that that’s okay. If I don’t fit somebody system or whatever, that that’s okay because there’s going to be another opportunity somewhere else and I think that’s what’s been a big game changer for me is. If it doesn’t work out the first time or the second or the third or whatever that that’s okay. But I’m continuing to push.

DH: Right, absolutely. Awesome. So, you go back to Texas to rehab the GM tells you, dude get well, you can earn a spot on the team. 

 JQ: Yes, he said I can earn a spot so I’m thinking, “okay good I’m going to get healthy.” This isn’t 1992 anymore where you do an ACL and your career is over. This is 2009, the surgeons, the rehab protocol….. as long as I follow the directions, my repaired knee is going to be stronger than my other one. So, I knew that I’d be ready to rock and roll. I get healthy and right before training camp the next year, I get a call from the same General Manager and he goes, “Johnny, we’re cutting you today.” At that point Devon, I was devastated. 

DH: So, his words were, “Get well, you can earn a spot, but you don’t even get a chance to compete for a spot. 

JQ: That’s what I’m saying. I’m on the phone and I’m thinking, wait a second do you not remember the conversation we had six months ago. You said I could come up and re-earn a spot but now you’re cutting me. It’s just crazy. 

DH: That’s a punch in the emotional solar plexus. I have had those experiences as well where all you’re asking for is, hey, give me a chance to prove myself.

20:24 JQ: Right, and that’s all I want, you know and truthfully, even if football isn’t your cup of tea, that’s okay. Here’s a reality for everyone, don’t you just want a chance for what’s important to you? And that’s what I had and when that got taken away, I’m like, what do I do now? I mean football is over three cuts, a blown-out knee, my agent can’t find the team.

DH: Right, now you become damaged goods as it were.

JQ: That’s right, you’ve been doing your research. I’m damaged goods, man. 

DH: So, how do you figure out the next steps from there then, Johnny?

21:13 JQ: Well, I truly thought that maybe I need to take another year off and get stronger and maybe with a long shot there would be another football opportunity but things started to line up, Devon. My mom worked with a bobsledder from the 2010 Olympics, she was working at a medical company and happen to meet him at a conference and they had a conversation. My football agent at the time represented a bobsledder who competed in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and so the timing of these events was interesting and I started to do some research. I realized Herschel Walker was a former football player turned bobsledder and so I’m thinking okay. They look for former football players with the track background. 

DH: There was Willie Gault, by the way in ‘88.

JQ: Yes. So, I’m thinking okay this is interesting, I live in Texas, never bobsledded I mean, It’s probably the same conversation you have all the time. I don’t want to get involved, you know living in heat and warmth. 

DH: I know, I was thinking about that like I’ve been to Texas it’s even hotter than Jamaica.

JQ: It’s hot, man it’s hot. 

DH: So, what do you know about bobsledding?

JQ: Nothing. I just watched Cool Runnings… your movie and that’s all I knew, man.

DH: Right. So, actually, there’s you and Texas have a little bit of history in Bobsledding because Todd Hayes was a bobsledder from 2002, he is from Texas as well.

JQ: Yes, and then Justin Olson who won Gold in 2010. He’s out of San Antonio.

DH: Yes, there you go. Vonetta Flowers, I think is also from Texas?

JQ: Yes.

DH: Well, it’s getting crowded.

JQ: I know, Texas is pretty big. 

DH: So, NFL dream is over but you’ve found a new dream?

JQ: Yes. I think what’s so interesting is at 22 years old I entered the NFL Devon, and I turned pro but by age 26, I’ve been cut three times, I lost 2.6 million dollars in NFL contract and I blew out my knee. And so, at the end of the day here’s what it was Devon, I was an NFL failure. I mean when you get rid of all the fluff around it, I failed in the NFL. That’s what it boiled down to but again, I learned a lesson: I’m not going to let failure sink me. What I’m going to do is…. I’m going to let it springboard me and here’s the key…..I’m going to let it springboard me to future success. What’s funny is I can see that now, right? I’m 35 looking back, I’m in my mid-twenties I can see that clearly now.

When you’re in the messy middle, right? And you don’t know what’s going on, that’s tough to see…… that is tough to see. 

DH: And all you can do is push; all you can do is find some kind of action to take as you said earlier.

JQ: That’s right. 

DH: Because people will see that you today, you’re successful and other people in other endeavors who are successful. And they don’t see all the doors that were slammed in their faces, right? It seemed like success dropped on them you know, like right on top of them. And I think the key and one of the things I get from your stories is that you had an open mind you were yes to new opportunities to create a new dream.

JQ: Yes. Man, you said it perfectly – You used two words ‘open – mind’ and that’s what I see even now in the marketplace. You have to be open-minded. If you got a dream or a goal, let’s go after it but if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world.

I can almost guarantee you, you’re going to learn a lesson that can springboard you forward just like when I started bobsledding and having to figure out okay, how do I warm up when it’s minus 10 out or how you stay warm. You know what I’m talking about?

DH: Exactly.

JQ: Then I realized, oh wait I ran four years of track.  I’ve been properly taught sprint mechanics. You’ve got to make an adjustment with your foot on ice and you learn that but I realized wow, I thought I was running track for football. What do you know I can use some of my previous experiences for a sport that I never thought I’d be doing to get ready.

DH: You’re absolutely right and so. Your story meshes so well with the keep on pushing philosophy because here it is that you run into these brick wall so to speak but you have an open mind. You keep an open mind that allows you to continue to keep on pushing and then you are able to take the skills that you learn in a completely different sport–track and field and even football in terms of the pushing off a sled and apply them. Because now you have a new opportunity and you’re creating a new opportunity that you can take advantage of, so absolutely. 

We’re going to go into your work as an in-demand international motivational keynote speaker in a minute. But the open mind concept let’s say, is that what you would describe as part of the Olympic mindset that you speak about?

JQ: Yes. I think when you look at a high performer in any scenario and I know we’re talking sport here, we’re talking the Olympics. Our sport Bobsled, comes down to a hundredth of a second, Figure Skating, any sport, it comes down to metrics, points things like that. you have to be willing to explore areas that you might not be comfortable with. And the men and women that say, yes, I don’t know if I’m going to like what I’m going to find. I don’t even know if I’m going to enjoy it. But if you can say yes and explore and be open-minded to areas that maybe you’re not good at or you know, maybe other people are overlooking and there’s opportunity there.

DH: You’re absolutely right. It applies to sports,but it applies a life. It applies to the Olympics, but it also applies to the Olympics of Life. So, you may be in a company and things may be going well for you, but an opportunity comes up across town or in another city or just in another division. And you don’t know if you’re going to like it but you can’t know unless you try right and yes, a lot of times it’s the guy or the girl with the open mind who goes out and take that risk and succeeds and then everybody goes, “lucky bugger!” 

JQ: No, it’s not like that. It’s because they were open to taking that risk.

DH: They were open you’re absolutely right. How did you get into motivational speaking and give us a quick overview, Johnny, the ideas you share with your Olympic mindset?

JQ: So, I started speaking when I turned Pro and entered the NFL because I had to figure out a way to generate income and continue to train and so I would speak. I started when I was 22, so I’ve been speaking for about 13 years now. I picked up things in the offseason but once I got back from the Olympics that’s kind of when the floodgates open. So, the last four or five years I’ve been able to do that full time. So I do about a hundred events a year all across the world. I speak and teach on how to think like an Olympian in the marketplace and you know this as well as I do that the tools that we learned in the Olympics, what it takes to compete at a high level, consistently working with people who have different personalities, different backgrounds, different mindsets and how do we come together for one common goal.

Devon, what I realize is there’s so much synergy in sports at the high level that transitions over nicely into the marketplace. All these companies are looking to increase profitability and sustainability and so I go in and speak and teach on, hey, here’s how you can think like an Olympian versus your competition, where you position yourself in the market place, and so we’ve had a lot of success there. 

DH: Awesome. So, we were just speaking a minute ago about all the athletic skills that one can transfer. You from sprinting….. myself…..I was not a sprinter. I’m from Jamaican and I’m a middle-distance Runner 

JQ: Why is this?

DH: Because everybody in Jamaica runs fast except me. 

JQ: I know.

DH: You have to find something to win. How the skills that you’ve learned in sports……high school, college……not the athletic skills, but all the other things that you needed to do in order to succeed. How have you been able to apply those to your work as an entrepreneur yourself and as a top Olympic motivational speaker?

JQ: In Sports, one of the things we learned early on and really in any sport is don’t quit, right? Don’t give up. I mean you’re taught that as a young kid really in anything you do, but you hear that a lot in sport, ‘Hey, keep pushing.’ And I realized physically you’ve got to do that when you’re playing sports, but you need to do that mentally as well and when I started to carve out a path in the marketplace as a professional keynote speaker, and now even as an entrepreneur I own an insurance agency now, I realized mentally – Don’t quit, don’t give up, explore opportunities, keep pushing. Devon, these are all things that you and I and anybody else that have ever played sports, we learn. 

So, I just realized okay, let me just take those if I may use those as boundaries so to speak – I’ll work within those boundaries and by doing so has opened up some amazing opportunities in the marketplace.

DH: Yes. There is really Johnny, so many correlations between sports and life.

This is one of the reasons why I want to speak to people like you because you have lived it, you have absolutely lived that and so you can teach it, you can share these kinds of winning strategies with others. So, you own an insurance agency, I know you also own athlete watch. Tell us about the athlete watch.

JQ: Yes. So, the company was my first experience as a business owner. Again, I had such a tough time getting recruited that I wanted to give back and create a platform that would allow students to again, take the reins in the recruiting process. And so, it’s a way for students who may be there like me who might be a couple of inches too short or 1/10th too slow to go big time D1, but still have talent that they can go out and play and compete at the next level, really to give them a voice.

32:53 DH:  What’s great about that I think is that you have taken an unsavory experience in your life working, working so hard and being so successful at the high school level and yet not being heard, not being seen and not being approached and demonstrating,  I think……. because you mentioned your height, what was that?

JQ: 5 11 7/8th Can you believe that?

DH: You just needed that 1/8th more, man.

JQ: I know I’m like, help me out, man.

DH: What you’re born with is what you have and other people can see that as limitations and if you argue for them, then they become yours as well. You were demonstrating, hey, I’m five foot six……what eleven and seven eighth but I can still go compete. And if it didn’t work out for me, I can still provide a platform, provide some encouragement for others who are experiencing the same thing as well. So, kudos on that. And of course, you’re an author you’ve written the book I mean, come on, creative are we.

JQ: Yes, I know right? You and I might be brothers, man. We’re cut from the same cloth, right! 

DH: I know. So, tell me about PUSH?

JQ: Let me try, I got a copy right here. So, I wrote this book “PUSH, breaking through the barriers” and when I go to speak Devon, most companies book me for 60 minutes. I can’t unpack all the concepts that I’ve learned in the Olympics and the NFL so I put it in a book format that you can read from page one through the end or and I got this from a book I read I think when I was in the CFL, I wrote this in a way that hey, if you want to learn about my time in Green Bay then you can go to the Green Bay chapter or if you want to learn about my time during Olympic trials, you can go right to that chapter. 

So, there’s a couple of ways to read this book just depending on what you want to get out of it. But yes, a lot of the wisdom I learned in the Olympics and the NFL I put in a book format so people can have it with them at any time. 

DH: Awesome. So, you just mentioned the Olympic Trials and I remember reading or hearing you speak about your first time on ice you were at the US Team Trials is that correct?

JQ: Yes, you’re right.

DH: So, your first time in the bobsled, you’ve never pushed a bobsled  before but you’re in a race. 

JQ: I know and that’s what was crazy, I thought I was going to go to Lake Placid or meet the guys in Park City and try it out but two days before the U.S. 4-man team trial I get a call from a driver. One of his guys was overweight for the combination that they wanted to run on their sled and he goes hey, do you want to come up now and compete and I’m thinking you know, “come on!” I’ve never pushed a sled in my life and I remember him clearly saying hey, “All you have to do is get inside the sled.” And I’m thinking okay, I can do that.

DH: Were you pushing from the back?

JQ: No, they made me pushed from the side, can you believe that? Now I look back and that was brutal. 

DH: But you know, I hear that story Johnny and it reminds me so much about our own experiences in 1988 because Chris Stokes – you would be our Chris Stokes. Chris Stokes came to the Olympics to watch his brother race. It’s the week of the Olympics and you’ve been to the Olympics so you understand this better than most – It’s a week of the Olympics and we go, “hey, let’s do four-man?” I’m like, “Chris, you’re a sprinter, right?” We recruited him that week.

JQ: That’s amazing, they need to publish that story because not a lot of people know that. 

DH: You could easily switch uniforms and the message of the story would be the same. And it’s the same with success in other areas of life as well where there’s this common thread that runs through every success story….. of the challenges and failures and setbacks and the open mindset. If you didn’t have an open mind, we wouldn’t be sitting here having this conversation with you as an Olympian. 

JQ: That’s right.

DH: You didn’t go, “I’ve never pushed a sled before I can’t be in a race”, right? You stepped up to the challenge. So kudos to that. So, what else are you up to these days?

JQ: Since retiring from Sports, it’s been a lot of fun building businesses, I speak full time, I own an insurance agency and so having two businesses to grow…. it keeps me engaged and it keeps me active. It keeps the kind of competitive mindset going. But since the Olympics, I got married and my wife and I, we have a little girl a seven-month-old.

DH: Cool a brand-new dad as well. Awesome journey, man congrats.

JQ: It’s the best.

DH: It is, it absolutely is. So, how do people find you, Johnny? 

JQ: Yes, so I’ve got a website I did a TEDx talk, it’s on there and if you have an interest in this book if you order through my website I’ll see it come in and I autograph them. There are some different packages if you want to buy an autograph bobsled, I’ve got all that set up there. But that’s and then all my social media handles are @johnnyquinnusa. 

DH: And for Athlete Watche, is that where any High School athlete would find it as well?

JQ: That’s right.

DH: So, dude, you epitomize in my mind the keep on pushing philosophy. You went from an NFL failure as you just said to a U.S. Olympic Athlete. You have demonstrated that you shouldn’t argue for your limitations, don’t own them but keep an open mind even when you fail and you will, all of us will but you don’t have to own the failure. You don’t have to wallow in it, but you can use it to empower you, in other words, you embrace it and allow it to push you and to inspire you to push through boundaries. And so, for that man, you have demonstrated that you are indeed a winner, a champion. Hey, folks, you want one of the top Olympic keynote speakers? You have to go to

This guy isn’t going to tell you something that he read in a book. Well, he may have put it in a book but it’s his experiences. And I promise you he is dynamic; he has an amazing cadence and an amazing inspiring delivery and you and your team will be better for it. So, If you are a young athlete who is looking and trying to figure out a way to navigate, I guess the college recruiting system; 

Johnny, you’ve been awesome, man and thank you for appearing on keep on pushing. 

JQ: Devon, thanks for having me on, man. It’s a pleasure to do this with you. 

DH: It’s awesome dude, thank you so much. Keep on pushing. 

JQ: You got it.

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