Olympic Champions Bryan Clay and Mallory Weggemann discuss how discipline and training create success.
Bryan Ezra Tsumoru Clay is an American decathlete. He was the 2008 Summer Olympic champion for the decathlon and was also World champion in 2005.
After graduating from the University of Chicago, Mr. Pollick subsequently earned graduate degrees in Social Science, East European Jewish History, and Holocaust Studies. He pursued his doctoral studies at Boston University under the direction of Professor Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. He lectures often throughout the United States and Israel, and has taught courses on The Holocaust at the high school and university levels. In 1982, Pollick was appointed Founding Executive Director of the Zachor Institute for Holocaust Studies in Miami, Florida. One year later, he created and hosted the cable TV series, â€œWe Remember.â€ He has twice led student groups to Holocaust sites in Eastern Europe, and in 1983, led the first-ever group of children of Holocaust survivors on a â€œJourney of Conscienceâ€ to Eastern Europe and Israel. In 1989, he served as a senior researcher for the permanent exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Prior to founding The Giving Back Fund in February 1997, Marc Pollick was the Assistant Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University and the Founder of The Elie Wiesel Institute for Humanitarian Studies.Working with Wiesel, Mr. Pollick came to appreciate the unique power and opportunity inherent in leveraging celebrity and wealth on behalf of philanthropy. He formulated the idea for an organization that would work with celebrities to use their fame for the common good, and in 1997 he established The Giving Back Fund (GBF) to provide philanthropic management and consulting to professional athletes and entertainers. By concentrating on celebrities, Mr. Pollick sought to diversify the typical donor base to include people of color, women, and young people, groups often underrepresented in traditional philanthropy. The first athlete with whom GBF consulted was Boston Celtic Captain Dee Brown, followed soon after by BC legend and NFL Quarterback Doug Flutie, and performing artists Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Pollick contributes frequently to major periodicals on the topic of philanthropy and writes a regular column on sports philanthropy for Street and Smithâ€™s Sports Business Journal. Pollick was recently recognized for his achievements as a recipient of the 2004 University of Chicago Alumni Award for Public Service. Upon receiving the award, Pollick commented, â€œFor me, the University of Chicago was not just a college. It was the impetus for a radical shift in my lifeâ€™s direction. Every assumption I had prior to arriving in Hyde Park was challengedâ€”from what is important in life, to what constitutes an educated person. As an undergraduate, I discovered role models who would become lifelong heroesâ€”in the persons of Jonathan Kozol, Jesse Owens (who tutored me in the long jump!), Rabbi Harold Kushner, and Elie Wiesel. I learned not only how to think, but how to employ that thought process to produce significant actions. I vividly remember coming to college as a freshman knowing that I wanted to change the world but not having a clue where to start. Without a doubt, the relationships I developed at UC and the influences I absorbed have directly equipped and enabled me to fulfill my freshman goal of wanting to make the world a bit better. I was profoundly altered by my UC educationâ€”in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the dorms. The Giving Back Fund is the professional manifestation of that treasured experience.â€
On January 21, 2008, Mallory Weggemann received an epidural injection to help treat back pain; however by the time it was finished she was forever changed. Complications with the procedure left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down.
Weggemann has been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven. After her injury at the age of 18, Weggemann chose to return to the pool. In April 2008, her older sister found an article in the local newspaper discussing the Paralympic Swimming Trials. The meet was being held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Still coping with her new disability, Weggemann found one thing unchanged, her love for swimming.
While attending the meet as a spectator with her sister, she met several of the US National Team coaches as well as her current coach, Jim Anderson. The following Monday, Weggemann returned to the pool and has been swimming since. She touts her Paralympic trials experience as life changing. "I have always loved the sport but when this happened I thought my days of swimming were over and when I realized I could still do it, well I will never forget that moment."
Weggemann broke her first set of world records at the Can Am Speedo Para Swim Meet held in Edmonton, Alberta Canada in July 2009. Weggemann set world records in the 50m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 100m butterfly.
At the 2009 Short Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November 2009, Weggemann broke six more world records (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 20 point 4x50m freestyle relay) and took home five gold medals.
In August 2010 at the Long Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Weggemann proved herself again in the pool by taking home eight gold medals (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m freestyle relay, 400m medley relay) and one silver (100m backstroke). Weggemann finished the meet with nine World Records. The IPC wrote the following regarding Weggemann's performance. "USA's Mallory Weggemann (S7) was the most successful athlete of these World Championships, winning eight gold medals and breaking nine world records".
Weggemann was ranked number one in the world in six of the seven paralympic events.
Weggemann is currently on leave from the University of Minnesota - School of Journalism until after the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, UK
2008 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist Bryan Clay tells how his sixth grade PE teacher gave him and F. The experience taught him a life lesson that he hopes to impart to other children through his foundation.