SA 051: 3-Time Olympian Debbi Sullivan on How a Devastating Injury Became the Key to Her Olympic Dream

Debbi Sullivan

In this episode, I interview 3-Time Olympian Debbi Sullivan. We discuss her Olympic journey, her preparation, what it takes to be an Olympian, to get from average to great, from good to great, and what that process looks like.

Guest Bio:

Debbi Sullivan is a 3-Time USA Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000) in the sport of Walking. She walked a World’s Fastest 1500 meter: 5:53, which converts to approximately 6 minutes and 18 seconds for 1 mile. Debbi was a former track and cross country runner in high school and college, before switching to walking in 1981. She is an 11-time national walking champion and has set (and broken) many American Walk Records along the way.


Some Questions We Ask:

  • Who’s the first person that comes to mind when she hears the word “successful”?

When an athlete looks like they’re having fun, you know they’re thinking positive and they will be successful.

  • Why did she shift from cross-country to walking?
  • Is there a book, or couple of books, that have most influenced her, and what are they?
  • If she could go back and talk to her 21 year old self, what would she tell that person?

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Debbi’s training as an Olympic athlete
  • What specific thing she feels that she does better than others
  • What she learned about coaching herself versus having another person as a coach
  • One takeaway that she hopes audiences will take out of her message

You’ve got to look at the big picture.





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