Olympic Gold Medalist Inspires Oklahoma Kids To Achieve Their Goals

Friday, September 14th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

An Olympic champion brings a powerful message to Green Country. On Friday, Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz spoke to hundreds of students at Tahlequah and Sequoyah High Schools. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports Spitz hopes to inspire students to go after their dreams.

With nine gold medals and dozens of world records, Mark Spitz is considered by many to be the greatest Olympic athlete of the 20th century. The champion swimmer says it wouldn't have been possible without focus, goals and the determination to meet them. It's that message Spitz hopes to get across to students.

"If you set a goal, you need to work hard, as hard as you can to follow it," said 11-year-old Kherissa Taylor.

"Kind of inspired me to keep going and keep trying my best," 8th grader Caitlin Baker said.

Spitz says no one should ever be afraid of giving 100%. He says don’t sit and wait for something good to happen, but make it happen.

"If you could be just a little bit better than what you thought you can be, then you're just moving in the right direction,” Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz said. “And that self-esteem goes a long way, it's contagious."

Spitz says everyone in the room that hears his voice and his message, has the capability of being a great person.

"When you set a goal you should always work towards it and never give up, and that you should always be good about what you do, and that you should work for it and hopefully sometime you get it," 12-year-old Tim Bradshaw said.

"You've got to have a dream,” said Spitz. “You've got to be able to basically project yourself and image yourself in that role, and so therefore you are encouraged and not frightened when it actually happens.”

Spitz says students should dream about goals, think about them and make them happen whether they are aspirations of Olympic glory, or just getting a better grade on a test.

Spitz appearances in Green Country are designed to bring awareness to an effort underway to gain support for a new community center for children. Organizers also hope to generate more excitement about competitive swimming in Oklahoma.

Watch the video: Olympic Athlete Works To Motivate Oklahoma Kids