Jun 8, 2022
Ever wondered what it takes to win a gold medal at the Olympics? Our guest today is the first American to win an Olympic BMX Gold. Phenomenal, right?
Today we're diving into his life and his journey that started with his introduction to the sport of BMX. To the mistakes that cost him his first shot at an Olympic medal. To when Connor went on to win the Gold in the next Olympics in 2016. Connor wanted to repeat as Olympic gold medalist, but he suffered a devastating crash at Tokyo Olympics 2020 that led to his retirement from competitive BMX riding. Now, he has become an acclaimed motivational keynote speaker and peak-performance strategist. Quite a ride isn't it? I assure you it is.
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Connor Fields, Olympic BMX gold-medalist Connor opens the curtains to a rarely seen experience of what it takes to win sport's greatest prize and overcome adversity.
While he won Gold in 2016 in Rio, his 2021 crash in Tokyo is on record as the worst summer Olympic injury in 2 decades. Yet, despite this near death experience and disappointment, Connor is now on a journey of recovery and self-discovery that he openly shares.
Listeners see behind the usually closed doors of the route to Olympic gold medal and enjoy a roller coaster of emotions while learning skills to improve performance in business, relationships, and life.
From "choking" at the 2012 Olympics to winning the Gold in 2016 - what changed
Connor was the first American to win an Olympic BMX Gold. He also represented the United States at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, coming in seventh overall.
During the semifinals of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics BMX event, Connor crashed with a fellow racer and suffered brain shearing and bleeding, a broken rib, a collapsed lung, and needed intubation to breathe. His competitive nature helped him confront months of recovery and therapy after which Connor chose not to return to competitive sports. Instead, he has now decided to share with others his passion for overcoming adversity and achieving success.
He is a much sought after motivational speaker
Connor can be reached at www.connorfields.com
A bit about me (Dr. Orest Komarnyckyj):
Dr. Orest Komarnyckyj enjoyed a prestigious career as a periodontal regenerative surgeon moving to a new passion in June 2018. He retired after a 33-year career to pursue new passions. At 69 Dr. Orest has taken on a new role as an Interviewer, Podcaster and government-certified Old Guy. He streams from his new home in Las Vegas, NV. He lives with his wife of 29 years, Oksana. His status as an empty-nesters with two out of college-employed children has left him with time and energy to share decades of successes, failures, and wisdom.
Timestamps for the episode:
00:00 - Precap
00:27 - Intro
01:36 - Guest introduction
03:51 - Most important thing you've done today?
04:25 - At what age did you start racing and when did you decide to do it exclusively?
05:25 - How big role did your parents play in your career?
06:40 - When did you decide that this was something that you were seriously going to pursue?
07:50 - Interesting thing you did in your parent's garage
09:05 - The amount of work that you had to put in to get to the point of getting into an olympic trial, let alone win a gold.
11:05 - What are the things you had to give up?
12:45 - Outside of riding what other physical training did you do?
13:35 - How big of a factor mental training plays in terms of becoming an elite athelete?
15:05 - Did you do any visualisation or things like that?
16:40 - How long, in terms of time and distance is a typical BMX race?
17:10 - What is it like sitting there at the starting line and at the race and racing and then at the end? And is there any trash talking?
19:20 - What do you call your mental state during the race?
20:40 - Commercial
21:13 - Commercial ends/Why so long before an American won the gold medal at Olympics for BMX?
22:45 - What happened in London Olympics?
23:56 - Is there any time for recovery if you make any mistake?
24:15 - After London, what was your mindset? Did you ever think about quitting?
25:20 - How was Connor different in Rio than it was in London?
27:15 - How did it feel winning gold at the Olympics in Rio?
28:22 - How did winning in the olympics change your life?
29:35 - After winning the gold, why did you continue to race?
30:50 - How was it like performing without a crowd at the Tokyo Olympics.
31:30 - Do you get any pickup from the crowd when there was one there?
32:17 - Do you remember anything about the crash?
32:35 - Tell me about your injuries and when you woke up in the hospital at Tokyo.
36:00 - What happened when you woke up?
36:43 - How long did it take you to get to a point where you felt like you were back to a relatively normal state?
37:50 - My story with concussion from skiing
39:07 - Did your previous training helped in terms of rehab?
40:10 - You decided not to ride competitively again. Can you tell me a little bit more about what was behind that decision?
41:50 - How did you decide to become a motivational speaker?
42:55 - Closing statements
43:13 - How can people contact you?
44:22 - Outro