Playlist

An Olympic phenom gives out gold, silver and bronze medals to his favorite TEDTalks

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May


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Track and fielder Steve Mesler never imagined himself at the Winter Olympics, standing atop a freezing mountain preparing to compete. But after repeated injuries in his original sport, he realized that his Olympic dream wasn’t going to happen on the track he’d planned. Mesler opted to channel his drive and ambition into becoming a bobsledder, regardless of knowing nothing next to nothing about the sport. The end result: a 95mph bobsled ride in the 2010 Olympics and a gold medal.

In this TED-Ed video narrated by Mesler and animated by Katie Wendt, Mesler reveals his inspiring story about how everyday decisions yield big results.

Below, Mesler counts down his favorite TEDTalks of all time.

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Dan Pink: The surprising science of motivation

I love what Dan covers in this talk so much. It speaks to me on two levels — the first being, this is exactly how an Olympian works. If you want to find someone who is highly motivated and looking to achieve success when money is not a motivator, find yourself an Olympic athlete. Secondly — this is the working world I live in now. My consulting practice focuses on fostering high-performing teams and individuals in the business world, and Dan’s argument for creating a high-performance environment is pretty compelling from my experiences.

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Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

I love Salman’s vision in this talk and how his ideas came to be so organically. He believed he could change the world, and he followed through on doing it in a way that no one had ever seen before. His process has inspired me so much as my sister and I build the organization Classroom Champions, which connects in-need schools with Olympic and Paralympic athletes, to reach and inspire as many students as possible.

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Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

The way Simon breaks down a complex thought process into such simple terms is awe-inspiring. To explain to people the impact of the way they deliver their message is such a difficult thing to do, so I can appreciate the detail that he put into making it seem so easy. Anyone who leads or wants to inspire should watch this talk.

Check out 10 powerful TEDTalks from Olympians and Paralympians.