Steven Bradbury: Forget riches and fame, it’s all about the effort

Steven Bradbury wins gold at Salt Lake City in 2002, ahead of three of his four fallen rivals. Picture: REUTERS
Steven Bradbury wins gold at Salt Lake City in 2002, ahead of three of his four fallen rivals. Picture: REUTERS

STEVEN Bradbury has always embraced his most unlikely of gold medal wins at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The sight of him gliding past four far more fancied skaters who crashed on the last corner of the final is hard to forget.

Bradbury is keen to tell the story of what led to that amazing Salt Lake City end to his short track speed skating career.

“Not too many people know much about the previous three Olympics and the five hours of training a day, six days a week for 12 years to become an overnight success,” he said.

Bradbury will be in Albury next week as guest speaker for Young Business Edge’s annual gala dinner.

The group began two years ago when it was noticed few young people were attending chamber of commerce meetings in Albury and Wodonga.

It is not a networking group, but aims to support the personal and professional development of young business people so that they become the next generation of community leaders.

Bradbury has honed his message at 750 conferences and events in 15 countries over 10 years.

“The overall theme is that passion, persistence and teamwork leads to success,” he said.

Bradbury said he received a lot of positive feedback from his talks, often along the lines that people did not realise how much hard work he had put into his sport.

“It is an example for anyone when they’re having difficult times along the way,” he said.

“There has to be difficult times along the way to be good at anything.”

When training, Bradbury said the first thing he read every morning was a sign pinned to the ceiling above his bed saying: “It’s the Olympics, get up.”

Bradbury said his motivation had been that if he didn’t win some competition on the other side of the world he had to live with regret.

“Nobody likes that word,” he said.

“The meaning of success is it’s not about the million dollars, it’s not about the medal at the Olympic Games, it’s about knowing in your own head that you’ve done everything you can possibly do to put yourself in a position to have good things happen.

“It doesn’t matter then if they do or they don’t.”

Bradbury does not see himself as a motivational speaker, preferring the term “corporate entertainer”.

“I have audience participation, I’ve got a lot of video, heavy metal music and do some comedy,” he said.

“What I enjoy doing on stage is turning my presentations into a show, which a lot of people don’t expect when you’ve got an ex-athlete coming to speak.”

The Young Business Edge dinner will be held at Rydges Hotel, Albury, on August 8.

Tickets, at $100 for chamber members and $120 for non-members, must be bought by tomorrow by visiting the website or phoning (02) 6023 0103.