Mary Gardner, host of Star Causes on 810 CBS Sports Radio, interviewed Cary Mullen for the Star Causes radio show. Cary candidly shared some experiences from his journey toward becoming a champion downhill skier.
Challenging Choices: Cary's known for breaking the world downhill skiing record at 97 mph, but he was also a champion Canadian gymnast as a child. When he began to plateau in skiing and gymnastics at age fifteen, he realized that he had to choose between the two sports.
Cary's small size of five feet, one inch and 90 pounds was an advantage for gymnastics. When Cary went to his dad for advice, his dad pointed out that Cary's uncle, grandfather, brother and dad were late bloomers who grew to be six feet tall and 200 pounds. Cary followed his dad's advice. And as predicted, a growth spurt reversed Cary's disadvantage in skiing and advantage in gymnastics.
Recovering with Purpose: Cary suffered a debilitating concussion after a near-fatal skiing crash. It took courage to go from working toward becoming a world-class athlete to working toward becoming a normally functioning adult. During his recovery, he realized that he didn't need to work to get better for his own benefit--he needed to get better so he could help others.
Recognizing Effort: While growing up, Cary lost many skiing competitions, despite his hard work. At age fourteen, he won a special award at a year-end banquet. His peers had chosen him for the award, which honored the person who was the most deserving of an award, but hadn't won one. The award (which he also received the next year) was significant because it meant that he was being recognized for the great effort he was putting forth, even though he wasn't getting the results he wanted. It motivated him to later create the "Character of a Champion Award" for young athletes.
Listen to the full interview to learn more about this inspiring champion and keynote speaker.