Category: Speaking

Sunset Ridge Elementary

Thank You CardsIt was awesome getting to speak to Miss Nelson’s class a couple weeks ago. I wish I could have done this in person, but my schedule isn’t always flexible with school and training. I have known Miss Nelson since 2009 and swam with her over a summer in North Carolina and she reached out to me to talk and share my story with her class. I got a HUGE envelope from her last week full of great thank you cards with great illustrations of medals and swimming pools. Thanks for the cards and the opportunity to peak to all of you guys. Don’t let Miss Nelson be too mean to you guys, if she is let me know!

Bailey Lake Elementary

photo I had the great pleasure of speaking to the 4th grade class at Bailey Lake Elementary for their Disability Awareness Day. I put together some great pictures to show the kids I am just like they are on the outside and grew up the same path of a 4th grader all the way up to the age of 17. I got the opportunity to answer some great questions and hopefully show them just how much you can do if you chase your dreams. It was nice to be able to talk to them one-on-one and sign autographs after speaking as well. A great group of kids and lots of fun to educate and inspire.

Nebraska Here I Come

I finally made it to Nebraska after a 4 hour road trip up from Denver with my friends from the Olympic Training Center. We arrived into Broken Bow, NE at 3 AM. The following day we got a tour of the town and saw our welcoming to the town sign at the local fast good joint. That evening Jessica Long and I spoke to about 30 people from the town and raised $1,500.00 to go towards the new gym for the high school. On Monday the whole high school and middle school all squeezed into the Broken Bow auditorium to hear Jessica and I share our insights and thoughts about just how fragile life is and how when things get hard you have to choose between what’s right and what’s easy. We also got to spend time, during lunch, meeting many of folks in attendance signing autographs and taking photos. We also participated in an interview with a local radio station sharing our message. All-in-all we hope that we touched and changed a few lives in such a small town, however, in a huge way.

Michigan Inner Club Swim Association

This past weekend I got to attend a great event that was showcasing the summer league swimmers in the Michigan area. I had a great time helping with the opening ceremonies with my teammate Cheryl Angelelli. We got to grab a quick lunch then off to mingle with the kids. I really enjoy seeing how this sport starts from the ground up and witnessing those grass roots are priceless.

Central District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Speech.

This past Friday I had the great honor and opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Central District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. It was a wonderful dinner and evening that celebrated people changing the physical health in children’s lives everyday. It was a honor to be able to share my story among a group of 350 people. I hope they were able to walk away with my message of, “Chasing the Dream Not the Competition,” and how important the Paralympic movement is for people with physical disabilities.

Tuesday, September 21 – Speaking at Mesa Middle School

Today I, along with several other athletes and coach Dave, got the great opportunity to speak at Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock, Colorado. It was a whole lot of fun to get into the community and talk to a great group of kids! It was awesome and the kids had a wide variety of interesting questions. It’s opportunities like today that I get to reflect on why I am out here swimming, training and doing the things that I am doing.

Saturday, July 24 – Eagle Ridge Swim Club

What a great week. Just received this photo from a friend and wanted to share it with you all. On Monday, I got the opportunity to address the Eagle Ridge Swim Club, then I joined them in the pool for their swim practice. Spending time with this group brought back some great memories of when I started swimming competitively. What a great bunch of swimmers.

Saturday, July 10 – Olympic Day 2010

On June 21st, I was invited to speak at the Olympic Day Activity at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Wake Forest, NC. It was a special day for me as I was honored to share my story and experience as an Olympian. The Boys & Girls Clubs offers young people a range of fun and educational activities while providing a positive and safe environment where young people can connect with trained and caring staff and reach their goals.

To learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs, visit

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