Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Life Lessons From an Olympian


Butch Reynolds with students.

Feb. 9, 2017 -- Olympian Harry “Butch” Reynolds was a Heights High Black History guest speaker on February 7. Mr. Reynolds talked about his experience as a track student athlete at Ohio State University, his 1988 Gold and Silver Olympic track races and his world record setting 400 meter race.

His 1988 400 meter World Record stood for eleven years.

But his accomplishments were only a small part of his presentation and discussion in the four meetings that were attended by nearly 500 students.

His main message was how he overcome adversity and the importance of his 10 Life Lessons for student success.

“I have learned many lessons in my life,” said the 52 year old coach and athlete.

“I have learned how to overcome adversity and that helping others is more important than gold.”

He encouraged students to learn from the mistakes of others and to follow his 10 Life Lessons:

1. Always Do Your Best            6. There are Many Ways to Solve a Problem
2. Never Give Up                       7. Life is Like a Book, You Turn One Page at a Time
3. Keep a Positive Attitude        8. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
4. Always Have a Goal              9. Success = Dedication, Commitment & Sacrifice
5. Accept Life’s Transitions      10. Have a Strong Team
He asked students to talk about their goals and the specific life lessons that are most challenging to them.

Mr. Reynolds brought his Olympic medals with him and encouraged students to hold them. He also talked individually to many students, signed autographs and stood for numerous photos.

Mr. Reynolds is currently a track coach at Ohio Dominican University and founder of Butch Reynolds Speed Academy and the Butch Reynolds Care for Kids Foundation.

See the other Heights High Black History events.

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