by Kaitlin Holden | October 01, 2011

In advance of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, to be held in London, interest in Olympic speakers is on the rise. "There's always an increase in the number of booking inquiries in an Olympic year leading up to the Games," says Alex Alton, vice president of New York City-based IMG Speakers. "Demand is especially high for gold medal winners and legendary Olympians. Whether it's for an Olympic-themed meeting, on-site hospitality or a post-games corporate event, we expect the trend to continue throughout 2012."

Groups typically seek out high-energy speakers who can share their experiences in goal setting and overcoming adversity. "Audiences want to be inspired and hear about the dedication, perseverance and other qualities it takes to become a champion," notes Alton.

Following are some Olympic speakers who take the gold when it comes to motivating their audiences.

Dr. Dot RichardsonDr. Dot Richardson (703) 684-0555;

Olympic career. As a child, Dot Richardson wanted to be an astronaut, a singer, an actress and a doctor. A love of softball diverted her attentions enough to add star athlete to the list, but then she did pursue medical school and is now an orthopedic surgeon.

At the Atlanta Games in 1996, the year softball debuted, Richardson -- captain of the United States team -- hit the game-winning home run that earned the U.S. the first gold medal in softball history. She returned home to finish her orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Southern California.

Richardson brought home another gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when the U.S. beat Japan in the finals. She currently is the director and medical director of The National Training Center in Orlando.

Speaking angle. During a time when women where limited to "women's sports," Richardson never allowed anyone to tell her she couldn't do something just because she was a woman. In her presentation, "Live Up to Your Dreams," she shares how she made her goals come true, and how others can, too. She also talks about how to identify dreams, maximize talents, be a team player and grasp the true meaning of success.

Verbatim. "It's amazing how you learn so much about your character in defeat."


Josh DavisJosh Davis (210) 494-9671;

Olympic career. Josh Davis swam to success at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he was the only man to win three gold medals. Four years later, he led the United States Swim Team to the Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, and took home two silver medals.

Speaking angle. As a motivational speaker, Davis' presentations include "7 Habits of Highly Effective (Corporate) Athletes," "Leadership: Making Everybody on the Team a Captain," and "Preparing to Win and Performing Under Pressure." His angle is helping everyone develop an Olympic attitude of discipline, pride and teamwork. He speaks about having the right motivation to reach your peak performance, as well as motivating others in your group to achieve maximum effectiveness.  

Verbatim. "It is so great when we can work together, because it brings out the best in each of us, and that's so true in the corporate environment. There are a lot of people depending on you, and you're depending on them. Use that synergy to bring out the best in everyone."