Eric Shanteau Profile

Olympic Athlete, Cancer Survivor

On his way to the 2008 Olympics, Eric has ridden a rollercoaster that included being diagnosed with testicular cancer, swimming the fastest 50m breaststroke split in the history of the 200 IM and having his father diagnosed with lung cancer. Despite the turmoil, Eric made the 2008 US Olympic Team in the 200m Breaststroke.

The 11-Time NCAA All-American at Auburn University became the first American to win both the 200 and 400 IM events at the World University Games following a disheartening finish at the 2004 Olympic Trials, where he placed third and narrowly missed making his first Olympic Team.

In July of 2007, his father was diagnosed with lung cancer and began chemotherapy treatments. Less than a year later, on June 19, 2008 Eric was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Still in pursuit of the dream he’d been working toward his whole life, Eric consulted several doctors, and after a series of medical tests with one week to go before Trials he was cleared to swim. He traveled to Omaha under the assumption that even if he made the team, he may never see Beijing. In a bittersweet victory Eric qualified for the Olympic Team and after another torturous round of testing and weighing his options with the risks; he chose to continue on with his dream of competing in the Olympics, and is now training to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Through it all, the one thing that was not difficult for Eric was his decision to go public with his illness. The tremendous amount of support he received from his friends, family, complete strangers, and other cancer survivors gave Eric the courage he needed to fight both for his health and for his Olympic dream.

Eric speaks on the importance of overcoming obstacles to reach your goals, sharing his story with corporations and universities.

Eric Shanteau Speaking Videos

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Eric Shanteau's Speech Descriptions

    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • Olympic Dream & Spirit
    • The Olympic Experience
    • Cancer and Cancer Awareness
    • Surviving Cancer
    • Overcoming Obstacles and Coping with Setback
    • Follow Your Dream
    • Motivation
    • Life Perspective

What People are Saying about Seeing Eric Speak

Rating Entries

    “The evening presentation was also fantastic. Eric is so articulate and poised, and he struck the perfect balance between humorous, entertaining storytelling and serious education about the challenges of facing a cancer diagnosis and everything that comes with it.”
    Ivy Ingram, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

    “Eric is remarkable in his eloquence and his ease in speaking about his cancer experience and how it relates to his lessons in life and in sport. He is comfortable and genuine in engaging folks one on one.”
    Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD

    “Eric is an extremely poised young man who tells his remarkable story extremely well. He did a superb job in relating his challenges to those which we and our clients regularly face. The audience was enthralled as Eric took us through his ordeal and triumph. We would recommend him to others without reservation.”
    Jay Kilkenny, Turnaround Management Association

    “Eric is a natural born speaker and passionate leader who wholeheartedly embodies the “pay it forward” approach to life in order to help others. By speaking out openly and honestly throughout his cancer experience, Eric has undoubtedly motivated millions of people to be more aware of their own health, and his impact will only continue to grow as he shares his life-saving messages of hope and empowerment. He is a true inspiration!”
    Kristin Ludwig, American Society of Clinical Oncology

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