Speaking Themes

An Olympic Champion and “World’s Greatest Athlete”- Bryan’s fame and success as an athlete is highlighted in his accomplishments at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece (Silver: 2004) and Beijing, China (Gold: 2008). However, Bryan’s impressive list of athletic accolades is not limited to just these to events. There have been many athletic honors Bryan has achieved throughout his career as a professional athlete.

  • Gold in World Indoor Championships for Heptathlon- Doha: 2010
  • Gold in World Outdoor Championships for Decathlon- Gotzis: 2010
  • Gold in Olympic Games for Decathlon- Beijing, China: 2008
  • Record for the decathlon in U.S. Olympic Trials- 2008
  • ESPN ESPYS Nominee for Best Overall Olympian: 2008
  • USATF’s Jesse Owens Award winner: 2008
  • Named U.S. Athlete of the Year- Track and Field Magazine: 2008
  • Gold in World Outdoor Championships for Decathlon- Finland: 2005
  • Silver in Olympic Games for Decathlon- Athens, Greece: 2004
  • Three-time USA. Outdoor champion (’04, ’05, ’08)
  • Two-time World Indoor silver medalist (’04, ’06)
  • 2000 NAIA champion
  • World Record for Discus
  • Highest overall Nike S.P.A.R.Q. Testing and Training Rating of 300,000 professional athletes from across the world.

An International Champion of Character- Bryan is an inspiration and a symbol of what it means to be a champion in all areas of life. He is a leader by example in his actions, his attitude, his words, and his convictions. His success both on and off the track, his integrity-driven character, and the devotion he has to his priorities are all evidence of his role as a positive role model among youth and adults alike.

An Unassuming, Everyday American Hero- In addition to being an Olympic Gold Medalist, Bryan is a husband and a father of three. He has a reputation in the local community as the passionate family man, the humble neighbor, and the loyal friend. A little incite to his upbringing explains a lot. “Growing up I wasn’t the biggest, the strongest, or the fastest person. I wasn’t born the ‘World’s Greatest Athlete.’ In fact, nobody in my family did sports. I came from a divorced home and dealt with verbal abuse, physical abuse, and thoughts of suicide. I remember a time in my childhood when we were on welfare and my mom was without a driver’s license. But, the thing that is different about my story is I have found a way to channel all those frustrations into my dreams of becoming an Olympic track star. Thankfully, all these things allow me to relate to others; to help them become the underdog. There is synergy in the strength of that mentality; especially in these times as people need hope and resilience.” ~BC A

Foundation with Lasting, Measurable Impact- The vision of the Bryan Clay Foundation is, “Building champions, changing lives.” Bryan’s Foundation helps youth leave a legacy; to pass the torch into a brighter future as we empower tomorrow’s champions. “I want to encourage youth to be champions in their gifts. Whether sports, academics, music, or arts- what ever gifts they may have- I want to inspire them to go out and use these gifts to achieve their dreams, to live fulfilled, and make a positive impact on the people around them.” ~BC

A Leader in the Health and Wellness Movement- In addition to being an international icon, Bryan is also a living logo for the wellness movement. His accomplishments are testaments to the positive benefit of being physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually (or purposeful) healthy. “The best advice I can give about success is this- that success is not necessarily about your accomplishments, it’s about the journey or the process you undergo on the way there. It’s about making a commitment to your values and letting them guide your decisions as they represent your priorities. Success is living healthy in all areas of your life- that is physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually (or purposefully). When you’re healthy in all these areas, you can drive all that positive energy and focus into achieving your goals and dreams. No matter how daunting they may seem to others.” ~BC

A Model for Consistent, Excellence-Driven Work Ethic- Bryan upholds an uncompromised standard of excellence in everything he does; his success is the result of self-discipline, personal sacrifice, and intense focus. To any organization, this is the model for a quality driven mindset that separates the best from the mediocre. “Excellence is about pushing yourself to be better. Each attempt you must build off the last to make just the slightest of improvements in order to separate yourself from your competition. It’s about having self-discipline- that is doing with excellence what you know you should do but have no desire to do mentally or physically.” ~BC

A Clean, No Excuses Competitor- Interestingly, Bryan has a huge physical disadvantage as a decathlete given his weight and height in comparison to his competition. Bryan is 5’10” and weighs 185lbs. His average competition is between 6’2”-6’5” and 10-15lbs heavier then he. But being the best means excuses are not accepted as a scapegoat for the victim mentality. Instead, he embraces his strengths and pushes himself to be the best in every area he can to be victorious over his competition. As a result, Bryan is a huge proponent of drug testing and speaks out openly against cutting corners to achieve success. “There’s a right and a wrong way to do things, there are no shortcuts. We need to show youth that they can be successful athletes without all the steroids and supplements- that there is great value in being a clean, natural competitor. Winning with raw talent and intense preparation is a testament to your personal integrity and the value of pushing yourself to be the best.” ~BC

A Role Model for a Positive, Overcoming Attitude- In light of intense affliction and personal hardship, Bryan has overcome brokenness and setbacks to take responsibility for his future. As a result, he has become a relatable motivator and a passionate coach. “Attitude is a choice, not an emotion.” ~BC