Dan Jansen Profile

After numerous setbacks, speed skater Dan Jansen finally captured a medal at his fourth and final Olympic games. Finishing eighth in the 500 meter, the event he was favored in, he later defied the odds by taking the gold in the 1000 meters while breaking the world record.

Over the course of the career, Jansen broke eight world records and captured numerous world titles, though an Olympic medal always seemed to slip out of his reach. However, spectators and fans were consistently impressed and mesmerized by the character and grace he displayed even when he crashed two times during his second Olympics.

After his 1994 gold medal win and retirement, Jansen founded the Dan Jansen Foundation, in honor of his sister, Jane, who died of leukemia the same day Jansen competed in the 1988 Olympics. For 21 years and counting, the DJ Foundation has given aid to families affected by leukemia and scholarships to high school students who display the Dan Jansen spirit towards education and overcoming adversity.

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    World Class Speedskater and Olympic Gold Medalist

    Dan Jansen is a world-class speedskater whose performance at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, earned him the Gold Medal for the 1000 meter and set a new world′s record. The winner of over thirty World Cup races and over 50 World Cup medals, Dan Jansen is nonetheless probably best remembered for his surprisingly disappointing performance at the 1988 Olympic Games and the tragic circumstances surrounding it.

    A sports hero who has endured and overcome personal tragedy, his presentations are deeply personal and highly motivational. A small-town boy from a solid family background, Dan Jansen achieved every young American′s dream in spite of very difficult personal circumstances. The hardships he was forced to overcome along the way have made him much more than a sports hero — he is an inspiration to each of us who must reconcile personal adversity with professional goals.

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Dan Jansen's Speech Descriptions

Dan Jansen did not give up on achieving his dreams, even in the face of great adversity. He uses his story of perseverance to inspire others to pursue and achieve their own goals despite falls along the way. Jansen’s journey parallels that of many companies, organizations, and individuals who are waiting for their hard work to pay off, and in the meantime always improving themselves to get to where they want to go.

    Going for the Gold

    With humor, sensitivity and candor, Jansen outlines the principles that supported him through the process of dealing with his losses and overcoming his obstacles, a process that he now understands is one of growth. The lessons he has learned from his own life experiences are the foundation of the life he lives today.

    Perseverance and Perspective

    Dan Jansen shares his story of tragedy and triumph, taking you through the four Olympics he has competed in, sharing stories from the journey and valuable lessons learned along the way. Aptly titled, his talk on Perseverance and Perspective has kept audiences entertained and motivated for more than twenty years.

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