“You can never really dream too big. Just open up your mind and if you really do want it bad enough, you can achieve it through hard work.”
I know what you’re thinking. It’s rather convenient for any Olympic athlete to say that hard work trumps talent.
For perspective, take a glance at the palmarès of this week’s guest:
- 2012 London Olympics: Gold in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay
- 2016 Rio Olympics: Gold in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay
- 2016 Rio Olympics: Bronze in the 200 meter freestyle
In total, Conor Dwyer has won seventeen medals in major international swimming competitions: nine gold, six silver, and two bronze. I could geek out on his statistics forever but you get the picture. The dude is super fast in the pool; one of the fastest swimmers of all time.
An extraordinary athlete, Conor is obviously immensely talented. So this idea that hard work beats talent can’t possibly apply to him, right?
Not so fast. Conor was the furthest thing from a natural talent right out of the gate. His performances out of high school were so mediocre in fact, he couldn’t even get the attention of college coaches let alone a swimming scholarship. I simply cannot overstate how rare it is in competitive swimming that an athlete of his current caliber had yet to distinguish himself by 18. It just doesn’t happen.
But Conor refused to give up. Through persistence and a robust work ethic relentlessly applied, a series of circumstances slowly aligned. A believing coach appeared to mentor him, followed by training partners to push him to new levels of possibility and further fuel his self-belief in potential. Over time, all the important ingredients alchemized to bake the cake that is the superstar athlete we know today as Conor Dwyer.
This week Conor shares his extraordinary story from bench warmer to Olympic champion. A story that lays bare a simple core truth I have experienced myself:
when the heart is pure and fueled by self-belief, extreme faith, unwavering patience and an unabating work ethic, the universe conspires to support the dream.
One of the good guys, Conor lives it with every breath. A recipe for success that has fueled his accomplishments and will support anyone — irrespective of talent level — in the pursuit of an audacious dream.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
Join us for our next retreat in Italy, May 20-27 — for info visit: plantpowerworld.com
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Background, Context & Reference
- Connect With Conor: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
- USA Swimming; Conor Dwyer Bio
- WIRED: Science of Swimming Featuring Conor Dwyer (& others) [VIDEO]
- NBC Olympics: Q&A with Conor Dwyer
- NBC Olympics: Who Is Conor Dwyer?
- NBC Olympics: Conor Dwyer gives TODAY a Tour of the Olympic Training Center
- NBC Olympics: Conor Dwyer Continues Medal Streak in Rio, Wins Second Relay Gold
- ABC: Local Family Cheers On Winnetka Native Conor Dwyer In Rio
- ABC News: Conor Dwyer Says Team USA Swimmers ‘Lighting It Up’ at Rio Olympics
- Inquisitr: 5 Things You Need To Know About Conor Dwyer
- Starter: One-On-One With Olympic Gold Medalist Conor Dwyer
- MLB.com: Olympic bronze medalist Conor Dwyer’s grandfather brought Harry Caray to Wrigley Field
- ESPN: Simone Biles makes a splash with her New York Fashion Week date
- US: Ryan Lochte’s Teammate Conor Dwyer Says Swimmer Is a ‘Genuinely Good Guy’
- E! Online: Olympic Swimmer Conor Dwyer Weighs in on Ryan Lochte Drama
- People: Simon Biles Takes Olympic Swimmer Conor Dwyer To The Golden Globes
- AOL: US Olympic swimmer Conor Dwyer dishes on Lochte drama
- Patch: Is Swimmer Conor Dwyer Leslie Jones’ New Sexy Vanilla Muffin?
- Chicago Tribune: Conor Dwyer caps Olympic run with gold — and his cap on Michael Phelps’ head
- Chicago Tribune: Cubs plan to honor Rio medalist Conor Dwyer at Wrigley Field
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast
- Jack Roach: former USA Swimming National Junior Team Director of Development
- Ryan Lochte: 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer (six gold, three silver, three bronze)
- Tyler Clary: Olympic gold medalist swimmer
- Michael Phelps: Most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals
- Katie Ledecky: Five-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and nine-time world champion
- Chance the Rapper: American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer
- Tom Brady: Quarterback for the NFL’s New England Patriots
- Janet Evans: Legendary Olympic gold medalist swimmer
- Gregg Troy: American college and Olympic swimming coach
- Shaune Fraser Pan American Games silver medalist swimmer from the Cayman Islands.
- Brett Fraser: Pan American Games gold medalist swimmer from the Cayman Islands.
- Peter Vanderkaay: Four-time Olympic medalist swimmer
- Michael Gervais: Elite performance sports psychologist and host of “Finding Mastery” podcast.
- Anthony Ervin: 2x Olympic gold medalist in the 50 meter freestyle (and podcast guest!).
Related Podcasts With Olympians You Might Enjoy
- RRP #237: Anthony Ervin: The Rebel Olympian on Chasing Water, Finding Meaning in Cold and The Search for Authenticity
- RRP #14: Byron Davis: Live Your Epic Life
- RRP #262: Lessons On Mindset With Kerri Walsh Jennings
- RRP 194: Aaron Peirsol’s Love Affair With Water
- RRP #88: The Mental Aspects of Peak Performance With Olympian Rebecca Soni
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