2021 AOAP Keynote and Endnote Speakers:
Monday, February 17 – 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Pacific Standard Time Zone
KEYNOTE / OPENING SESSION
Eight-Time Olympic Swimming Champion
WINNING AT SPORTS
WINNING IN LIFE
Competitive sports and competitive business have fundamental underlying principles in common. Thus, in my speeches, I emphasize my belief that it not so much what we do, but rather how we do it, how we perform. In my presentations I strive to inspire others by my success in athletics and relate my career as an international champion to the challenges we all face in our professional and personal lives.
I was fortunate to have found an activity that made me feel alive! As early as five years of age, I joined a competitive swim team in my hometown of Moraga, California and immediately liked it. As a team member I made genuine friends and felt socially validated. As an individual competitor I was compelled to test the limits of my mental and physical potential. Shaped by personal discipline and guidance from others, I would swim continually and competitively for the next twenty-two years.
Through unyielding determination and dedication to my goals, (and no doubt a little luck), I was fortunate to establish a worldwide reputation for excellence.
- Twelve world records
- Three-time Olympian (‘84,’88,’92)
- Earned a total of eleven Olympic medals (8 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze),.
- Pac-12 Swimmer of the Century
- Inducted into United States Olympic Hall of Fame, USA Swimming Hall of Fame, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and the University of California Sports Hall of Fame
The training and hard work required to compete at the highest levels of international athletics are the same qualities needed to succeed in the keenly competitive world of business. So in my orations I focus on how to employ those traits that bring rewards to great athletes and to leaders in business. While my perspective came from a lane in a swimming pool, it is equally applicable to competitors in the corporate world.
Since 1984, I have been sharing with business professionals my experience as a world-class athlete. I have received enthusiastic feedback on my presentations from such companies as Xerox, IBM, John Hancock, and Coca Cola.
I speak about the thrill of my personal triumphs, the unyielding discipline required to achieve these lofty goals, and some of the people who helped me along the way.
My story is a human one, filled with hardships, failure, and the types of disappointments experienced by anyone who dedicates his or her life to setting and achieving goals. I believe that one’s life is not defined by the external events that happen to us, but rather how we react to them.
A significant portion of my talks, focus on the conditions required for optimal experience. In order to reach a level of peak performance, the physical strength of the athlete and the spiritual capacities of the mind are joined together in a rare concert resulting in success far beyond perceived limits. In the end, this occurrence creates a more satisfied, complex and resilient person.
I stress that attitude strongly effects our choices and actions and it is these factors that ultimately determine our success. Using humor and emotion, I strive to provide an opportunity for positive, life-changing experiences that have immediate and long-lasting effects on professional adults.
Thursday, February 20 – 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Pacific Standard Time Zone
AOAP Endnote/DIA Keynote Speaker
Jamal Hill was only 10-years old when his body started to fail him. He experienced total paralysis and doctors considered amputating his right arm. The diagnosis: Charcot-MarieTooth (CMT) – a hereditary neurological condition that can result in progressive loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation in the body. CMT threatened to alter Jamal’s entire life, including his passion for swimming. Through sheer will, faith, and determination, Jamal has not only, over the years, regained his mobility, he is at the top of his game as a competitive swimmer. Today, at 24, the Los Angeles native is ranked #1 in the US Paralympic 100 Free and #22 in the world! As a result, he hopes to head to Tokyo next year as a member of the 2020 US Paralympic Swim Team to bring home the gold. Jamal developed a love for swimming through a local YMCA “Mommy & Me” swim class. It was evident that Jamal was a natural-born swimmer. After his paralysis and recovery, his parents encouraged him to use CMT as an opportunity to overcome challenges and to inspire others. He pushed through the pain and fear of being seen and treated differently and swam competitively in high school, receiving a swimming scholarship to Hiram College in northeast Ohio. In three years, he left Ohio to train under Dave Salo at USC, with the prestigious Trojan Elite Swim Team. Jamal, who trains 14 hours every week, is now working with mental performance coach and swim consultant Wilma Wong. He credits her innovative training style and techniques with improving his standing from unranked amateur to #1 in the nation within a year. His passion for swimming extends well beyond his personal and professional goals of Tokyo 2021. In an attempt to lower the global drowning rate, he recently began an initiative to teach One Million people to swim through private trainings, sponsors, and a digital swim school platform. This movement is Swim Up Hill. Follow Swim Up Hill on Instagram, @swimuphill