20 Of The World’s Best Olympic Speakers Ready For Tokyo 2020
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is fast approaching; the stadium is being built, the athletes are in training and the fans are avidly awaiting the iconic torch lighting ceremony. To be an Olympian requires a set of skills above the rest - determination, passion and confidence to name a few - such skills that can be capitalised on through public speaking. By booking an Olympic keynote speaker, you are booking a motivational figure of self-belief, who can motivate audiences to continue despite adversity. Read our list of Olympic speakers to book for your next event, with the expertise, experience and captivating personality to create an occasion to remember.
1. Derek Redmond
Labelled by former US President Barack Obama as a symbol of “human spirit”, Derek Redmond is an iconic Olympic figure. As a World and European relay champion, Derek was no stranger to success, but when injury struck during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona he proved that a true Olympian is one who can persevere in the face of failure. His televised finish in the arms of his Father has been viewed thousands of times and is still considered one of the most remarkable Olympic stories to date. Despite this moment bringing his athletic career to an end, Derek continues to share his story as a keynote speaker, where he encourages audiences across the country to value hard work and determination.
2. Crista Cullen MBE
In 2016 Crista Cullen and her Hockey team brought home an Olympic gold medal for England, her 197th cap for her country. Prior to this, Crista earned the International Hockey Federation World Star XI following the Hockey World Cup, the Great Britain Hockey Athlete of the Year and the UK Hockey Player of the Year, all in 2006. During her Hockey career, Crista was also a passionate advocate for teaching the future generations, so later founded a consultancy company within the educational sector. With a highly successful career fueling her public speaking, Crista is a frequent motivational speaker for coaching, charity and corporate events.
3. Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
Sir Steve Redgrave is most noted as most successful British Olympians ever, making him a firm household name. Between 1984 and 2000, Steve achieved the impossible - five gold medals in five consecutive Olympic games. Despite suffering from chronic illnesses throughout his career, Steve is living proof that peak performance is achievable for any sportsperson no matter the difficulty standing in their way. After winning his final medal and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, Steve retired from the sport to instead pursue a future in presenting and public speaking. Steve is a hit with all audiences, captivated by his inspirational stories.
4. Roger Black MBE
Since his Olympic success in the ’80s and ’90s, Roger Black has established himself as a prolific motivational and keynote speaker. Whilst on the track, Roger brought home two Commonwealth, five European Championships and two World Championships, a testament to his skill and ability. After retiring in 1997, Roger moved to present popular sporting shows and give public speeches, two roles he took to naturally. As a well respected motivational speaker, Roger captivates audiences across the country to inspire leadership, teamwork and determination. Due to his varied career, Roger is a speaker with the expertise and experience to leave a lasting effect on those who witness his story.
5. Steve Backley OBE
Prior to retiring at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Steve Backley won seven gold medals, three world records, two Olympic silver medals and one bronze medal. Over the course of a decade, Steve established himself as one of the nation’s most loved and consistently successful athletes. At present, Steve remains the only British track and field athlete to win medals at three different Olympic Games – Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. As a testament to his achievements in 1995, Steve was made an MBE followed by an OBE for his performance at the European Championship. Since becoming a keynote speaker, Steve has expressed an engaging and charismatic presenting style, with a palpable passion for personal success.
6. Fatima Whitbread MBE
Most notable as the first female Javelin thrower to achieve over 250 feet, Fatima Whitbread is a renowned Olympian and charismatic TV personality. Awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 1987, the year she broke the world record, Fatima is a symbol of human ability. Since retiring from athletics, she has appeared on shows like I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, where the audience fell in love with her all over again. Eloquent, articulate and concise as a keynote speaker, Fatima is well-known for her intrinsic motivation and captivating storytelling with the intention of inspiring people to overcome hardship.
7. Richard Hounslow
As a key figure in the heart racing sport, Slalom Canoeing, Richard Hounslow is a fearless figure of bravery. Richard was the driving force behind Great Britain's most successful Olympic Games to date, securing them silver at the London 2012 Olympics and again at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. An intrinsically motivated keynote speaker with the success to back up his inspirational guidance, Richard is a popular addition to any event, from charity to corporate. Richard’s storytelling brings the success of the Olympics to life for his audiences to experience, thanks to his enthralling presenting style.
8. Sharron Davies MBE
Since the age of 13 in 1976, Sharron Davies has been a pinnacle figure in the Olympics, making her a knowledgable public speaker. During her illustrious career, Sharron has both hosted and competed in numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games, dominating the pool thanks to her unbeatable skill. Over the course of fourty decades, prior to her retirement in 1994, Sharron broke over 200 British records and was a British champion on over 20 occasions. With so much experience under her belt, it is no surprise that Sharron has featured in the BBC’s sporting coverage and continues to give insightful keynote speeches to audiences across the country.
9. Sir Matthew Pinsent
Evident through Sir Matthew Pinsent’s anecdotal tales, his successful Olympic career was thanks to his unflinching hard work and determination. After rowing at Eton College, he went on to win a bronze World Championship medal and competed in the 1991 and 1992 Olympic Championships. Having experienced the sport at an elite level, Matthew is a captivating speaker who openly shares his story of sporting success. Alongside his teammate, Matthew retained his Olympic titles in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, before earning Olympic gold in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. Whilst sharing his extensive knowledge with audiences, it is clear that Matthew’s passion centres on inspiring teamwork and communication.
10. Greg Rutherford MBE
After his legendary performance during the 2012 London Olympics, where he became the best long distance jumper in the world, Greg Rutherford is a household name in the world of sport. Overcoming injury and failure, Greg triumphed for his country after smashing the competition’s distance by a whopping 17 centimetres. As detailed in his public speaking, Greg and his team had to create a new technique to prevent injuries and guarantee a more consistent performance, reflecting the ideology that innovative thinking promotes success. As a household name, Greg is one of the most sought after, finest keynote speaker specialising in Olympic success stories.
11. Jenny Jones
Jenny Jones is a British Olympic and keynote speaker, celebrated for being the first Briton of any gender to win an Olympic medal in any snow event. As a snowboarding champion, she made a name for herself in 2009 as one of the athletes to look out for leading up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. She is the proud owner of four gold medals from the Winter X Games in both America and Europe, highlighting Jenny as a Winter Olympian like no other. In her public speaking, Jenny candidly opens up about representing her country and the mental and physical challenges of daily training.
12. Jason Gardener MBE
Jason Gardener earned an Olympic gold medal for his performance as a Sprinter, winning medals in the 4x100 metres relay at the 2004 Olympic Games. After starting his career at the World Junior Championships in 1994, Jason quickly positioned himself as a medal-winning machine. In 1999, Jason was one of the key figures to break the British record after taking bronze at the World Indoors in the 60 metres. In the following year, Jason broke the national 50-metre record with a time of under six seconds, at the European Indoor. With his prominent career, Jason is a knowledgeable Olympic speaker who discusses the mental process needed to break records.
13. Darren Campbell MBE
With a plethora of inspirational content to discuss as a keynote Olympic speaker, Darren Campbell is a renowned athlete and sports coach. A master of all trades, he has dominated the track, coached athletes to success and frequently gives public speeches to fascinated audiences. At the beginning of his career, Darren won two World Championships and a gold medal at the Commonwealth. Darren was a part of the iconic British Olympic relay team, which quickly became one of the most successful teams in British history. As an Olympic speaker, Darren discusses the difficulties of working with such a successful team, dealing with the pressure of fame and representing their country.
14. Mark Foster
With his years of swimming knowledge, Mark Foster teaches short swimming courses to future Olympians on the butterfly stroke and other freestyle swimming techniques. Since his retirement from the pool, Mark has found a passion for public speaking, sharing his story to audiences across the country. After being chosen for the British teams in 1985, Mark bagged his first medal in the 1990 Commonwealth Games for the 50-metre freestyle. He has featured as the flag bearer for the Olympics and won the 2008 FINA Short Course World Championships prior to the games. Mark is a captivating motivational speaker, who uses his experience of five Olympic and Commonwealth games to inspire audiences.
15. Alex Gregory MBE
When it comes to hard work, Alex Gregory is a symbol of determination. Over the course of his career, Alex won two gold Olympic medals and five World Championship titles, as well as being a member of the world’s first Arctic rowing expedition. Despite his initial failures, Alex proves that dedication does produce successful results over time. As one of the most prolific athletes the sport has ever seen, Alex inspires audiences across the country with his story of handling pressure and believing that you are capable in order to be capable. With his relatable nature and honest approach to speaking, Alex openly discusses his journey to understanding what is important in life.
16. Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards
Possibly the most famous Olympic athlete the world has ever seen, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is an icon of self-belief. As the first GB athlete to compete for the Olympic Ski Jumping medal, Eddie was the unlikely pioneer for British Winter Olympic athletes. With a life story told in nearly every household across the country, Eddie’s journey to Olympic fame has led him to become one of the most sought after public speakers on offer. After qualifying for the Olympics, audiences from all around came together to cheer Eddie on as he made one of the most viewed jumps ever. With his determination in the face of failure, Eddie is an inspirational symbol for big-dreamers, evident through his highly successful public speeches.
17. Sally Gunnell OBE
With nearly every sporting title under her belt, including an Olympic gold, World Championship titles, World Cups, European Championships and four consecutive European Cup victories, not to mention five Commonwealth titles, Sally Gunnell is a stand out athlete. After persistent injuries, Sally retired in 1997 and turned her sporting passion to televised features and public speaking. Sally was a regular presenter on the BBC, presenting their sports coverage thanks to her knowledge, before committing her time to keynote speaking. She is an inspirational role model for future athletes, using her story of perseverance and success to leave audiences motivated and goal-orientated.
18. Graham Bell
After starting his career as a Winter Olympic skier before moving into journalism, Graham Bell is an instantly recognisable public speaker. He is a symbol of what the human body can achieve when pushed to its limits, completing a multitude of challenges with the determination and self-belief only an Olympian can exhibit. Once he retired in 1998, Graham put his knowledge and experience to good use as a respected sports speaker, giving audiences an insight into an athlete’s lifestyle. Having experienced the sporting world as an athlete and a presenter, Graham has the authority to discuss all areas of competing.
19. Kriss Akabusi MBE
Kriss Akabusi is a world-renowned Olympian, having earned gold medals as an individual and on a team basis. Over the course of his career, Kriss clinched a gold medal at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991, was a three-time Olympic medalist in 1992 and, in the same year, became a Commonwealth and World Champion. After achieving such success, Kriss was awarded an MBE in recognition of the athletic contribution to his country. On top of his sporting achievements, Kriss became a TV personality after retiring, featuring on chat shows, comedy panel shows and presenting day-time television, showcasing his charming personality. With his years of experience and unique charisma, Kriss is a captivating public speaker who entertains audiences across the country.
20. Gail Emms MBE
Gail Emms is an Olympic silver medalist for Badminton and successful keynote Olympic speaker. After earning a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic games, Gail retired from the sport in 2008 after the Beijing Olympics to dedicate her time to media appearances and public speaking. During her career, Gail earned a gold medal in the World Championships in 2006, back-to-back Commonwealth medals and consecutive European Championships; ultimately, Gail pioneered the sport during the 2000s. She frequently features as a representative for Badminton, a commentator and an advocate for more women in sport. Audiences are inspired by her passion for the sport, with her extraordinary story and likeable personality, Gail is a successful speaker.
To book an Olympic speaker to make a personal appearance at your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by filling in our online contact form or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553 today.