Olympic luger to kick off speaker series
SUMMIT COUNTY – All his life, when kids were picking teams in gym class, Ruben Gonzalez was always the last kid chosen. As a young boy in New York City, the immigrant from Argentina knew nothing about football or any other North American sport. Despite this slow beginning and his self-avowed lack of athletic talent, Gonzalez went on to become a three-time Olympian, representing his native country in the luge.Now a motivational speaker, Gonzalez will bring his perspective on success to the High Country as part of a series co-sponsored by the town of Frisco and Summit County’s Integration Plan, which is administered by the Family & Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC). The public is invited to hear Gonzalez on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Summit High School library. His topic for the evening will be, “Becoming Unstoppable: Success Secrets of a Three-time Olympian.”According to his website, thelugeman.com, Gonzalez first took up the sport of luge at age 21. Despite many broken bones and disappointments, he eventually made the Olympic team. He last competed in 2002 in Salt Lake City at the age of 39. His partly autobiographical 2004 book, “The Courage to Succeed,” has been praised by such motivational gurus as Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard.The presentation by Gonzalez will be the first in a series designed to bring inspirational speakers with messages related to diversity to middle school and high school students.The town of Frisco is providing financial support to the series as part of its commitment to diversity and integration, Frisco assistant town manager Theresa Casey said. When the staff at FIRC approached Frisco with the idea for a speaker series, the town council thought it was a great idea, she added.According to Casey, future speakers will not only represent diversity, but will also be “folks who have endured hardships, but succeeded anyway.” In addition to his public talk on Thursday, Gonzalez will speak again at Summit Middle School for students, parents and teachers on May 19 and 8:15 a.m.
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