40 Minute Podcast by Ruben

Yesterday I was interviewed for a British podcast. I usually don’t do radio interviews anymore but I had a feeling this would be a fun one so I accepted it. You can listen to the 40 minute show here. Enjoy!



Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez


Proactive or Reactive?

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 7.06.52 AMEnd of last run at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics 

The thought processes that help you get to the Olympics are the same thought processes that will help you succeed in business and in life.

Successful people in all walks of life think big, focus on the possibilities, and take consistent bold action towards their objectives.

When I decided to come out of a six year break to try to qualify for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at the age of 47, most people I talked to were sharply divided into two camps.

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Ruben’s Beliefs

“You will never achieve anything great in life unless you dare to believe that something inside you is bigger than the circumstances you face. My mission is to give others hope and to equip them for greatness.”

Ruben Gonzalez

  Achieving Greatness

Great people were not born great. They became great by making a decision to pursue their dream in life and by refusing to give up. The struggle we must all face on the road to our dreams is what makes us great. Ordinary people can become extraordinary if they dedicate their lives to the pursuit of their dreams.

“The harder the conflict, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Thomas Paine


  Living Your Life as an Adventure

Deep down in every heart is the desire to be somebody, to do something great.

In the third Grade I had the call, the beckoning, an inner longing to go to the Olympics. To strike out on an adventure. I refused the call out of fear, out of a low self image, out of lack of belief that I could ever be an Olympian. At age 21 I overcame my fears and I accepted the call.

What was the difference? How did I change? What gave me courage? The books I read and the people I consistently associated with.

Refusal of the call would have been devastating. Those who refuse the call can never be heroes. They are destined to live with regret. A life with no peak experiences. A life of quiet desperation.


You will never achieve anything great in life unless you dare to believe that something inside you is bigger than the circumstances you face.

When we think about or dreams, it is like a call to arms. A call to take an adventurous journey. The spiritual journey takes us inward and downward to face the hardest realities of our lives. We must understand and acknowledge that the enemy is within – fear of failure. Accepting the call requires courage. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of fear.

Action is the proof of your courage. Courage is going against the odds, against popular opinion. It’s doing what most people aren’t willing to do. Having the heart to choose your own course of action. And taking responsibility when you fail or stumble. With Courage you can do almost anything. Without it even a brilliant person accomplishes little.

“This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks.” – Ronald Reagan

  Pursuing Your Dream

We were designed and created for extraordinary achievement. God puts a dream in your heart. God gives you all the gifts, talents, and hidden resources you’ll need to make your dream come true. It is up to you to do the work. It is up to each one of us to decide to make the journey, put ourselves through the struggle, pursue our dreams. When we are struggling we will dig deep inside us and only then will we find our gifts.

“I am not discouraged, because every failure is another step forward.” – Thomas Edison

  Pushing Beyond Self-imposed Limitations

Conditioning our minds for extraordinary achievement is simple but it takes time. The road to huge successes in all areas of your life can be broken down to five steps. What you tell yourself influences what your beliefs and thoughts are. Your thoughts determine what you do. What you do repeatedly becomes your habits. Your habits determine your results.

If you are not happy with your results, change what you say to yourself and surround yourself with people who support and encourage the quest for your dream. If you do that, before long you’ll be getting different results.


  Risk Taking

You win by taking the journey. After taking the journey you will never be the same again. Life itself is about getting knocked down and getting back up and trying again. Jump and find your wings on the way down!

I dare you to take the journey. To think bigger, act bigger and to be bigger. And I promise you a richer and more exciting life if you do. The world is filled with opportunity and the rewards for the daring are great. Focus on the objective, not the obstacles.

“To win without risk is to triumph without glory.” – Pierre Corneille


You will face a challenge, a struggle on the way to your dream. When it comes, look it squarely in the eye and say, “I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.”

Not quitting on the way to the goal transforms us. It’s about who we become by taking the journey. The Olympics are about all that is right about the human spirit. The Olympics showcase a group of people who were willing to go for it. People who refused to quit when the going got tough. I only made it because I refused to quit.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again.” – Vince Lombardi

  Decision Making

When you are on a quest for your dream decision making is simple. All you do is ask yourself  which choice gets you closer to your dream. You are the dream. Whenever you choose to do something that keeps you from your dream, you are not being true to yourself.


Would you follow someone you don’t trust? Of course not! Therefore, leadership rule #1 is to be a person of integrity. To be absolutely trustworthy.

The other thing is to be Passionate about your mission. Most people are afraid to show passion for what they believe. Being passionate about your dream will set you apart from the crowd because 95% of people are afraid to show passion for anything.

If you are trustworthy and passionate about your cause, you will attract followers. You will become a person of influence, which is what leadership is all about.


Success is not about how much talent you have. It’s about what you do with the talent you do have. Successful people love the battle, the challenge, the journey. It’s not about the outcome. It’s about knowing that you did the best you could to become the best of what you were capable. If you give it your all, you can hold your head up no matter what the outcome.

“If a man has done his best, what else is there?” – George S. Patton


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

Ruben’s Olympic Photo Album

 motivational speaker Rube Gonzalez

Ruben’s Olympic Photo Album

Journey with Ruben on the Road to the Olympics and Learn the Timeless Principles of Success that will Help You Succeed More in Life


Not being a great athlete, I was always the last kid picked to play sports in P.E., in this picture, I’m warming up the bench of Houston Baptist University Soccer Team 1984. I played about five minutes a game for three years! But I was grateful to be on the team.

No matter what part of the team you are, be grateful that you ARE on the team and always have the attitude that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help the team out. If you have a great attitude and work hard, you will be noticed and new opportunities will appear.

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Seeing tiny Scott Hamilton competing at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics filled me with hope. All of a sudden I knew in my heart that if Scott could make it to the Olympics, so could I.

We all have the seeds of greatness within us. Sometimes it takes seeing someone else achieving greatness to help us believe in our own power.

Three months after seeing Scott Hamilton on TV, I was taking up the sport of luge at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid – 1984.

Don’t wait for the time to be right. Don’t wait to get all your ducks in a row. When you see an opportunity to realize your dream, take swift and bold action!

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Luge training started that summer at the old Lake Placid Bobsled track                 from the half mile point. Hurtling 50 MPH down a concrete track.

All we wore was tennis shoes, shorts, a T-shirt, and a helmet.

If you crashed, you were going straight to the hospital.

That’s the weeding out process in the luge. Coach makes it hard in the beginning because he wants to see who really wants it. By the end of the first year 14 out of the 15 people in my beginners class quit.

How badly you want something will determine what makes you quit. If you want something bad enough, NOTHING will make you quit. As long as you don’t quit you still have a chance…

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If you want something bad enough, the facts don’t count. Here I am, Training for the Olympics, in the closest thing to a luge track we have in Houston, Texas… The local skating rink!

Do the best you can do with the resources you have right now. If you wait until everything is perfect, you will never accomplish much. Done is better than perfect.

The view from the Men’s Start at the Igls Luge Track in Austria sends shivers down lugers backs.

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting in spite of your fear. Do what you fear and the fear will disappear.

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End of Luge Run Lake Placid 1984. Scared out of my mind, out of control most of the way down, not even wearing proper luge shoes (I’m wearing tennis shoes). But I was taking action and getting closer to the Olympic Dream.

Take action. Bold Action. Jump and the net will appear. If you get into the action habit, every day in every way you’ll be getting better and better, closer and closer to your dreams and goals.

My Coach Gunther Lemmerer. Four time Olympian, three time World Champion, and tough as nails!

 Surround yourself with winners. Make sure your mentor has fruit on the trees. Make sure they have already done what they are teaching you to do. Remember, a “C” student can’t teach you how to become an “A” student and a poor person can’t teach you how to be rich.


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Walking down the Sarajevo Track to learn the best lines that will give us the fastest times.

The will to win is important but not as important as the will to prepare to win.

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Hours of sled work every night…  Every stroke of sandpaper on our steels makes us faster.  And every stroke of Diamond Paste after hours and hours of sanding makes us even faster. We are willing to do whatever it takes to be our best!

Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.

Bad day at the track. Broken foot, broken hand, totaled sled, and an early end to a luge season.

Life is tough. The road to our dreams is a long hard one. So we must do everything we can to become mentally strong so we can quickly rebound from our setbacks.

I had a pity party for three days. Then, because of the success books I had read the personal development tapes I had listened to and the people I associate with, I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off and make a speedy comeback.

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Opening Ceremonies Calgary 1988

You will have many personal victories before you can have a public victory.

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Competing in the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Dreams do come true if you believe and are willing to do the work. 

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Calling home from Europe. While training for the Calgary and Albertville Olympics I had a stretch where I missed seven Christmases with my family in a row!

You will always have to give up some things in order to reach your dream. There is always a price to pay if you want to enjoy the prize.

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Ruben and Pablo Garcia from Spain Preparing to Compete in Albertville 1992.

Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people. Ninety percent of success is a result of those with whom you associate.

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Ruben, Pablo, and Hershel Walker (bobsledder) in Albertville 1992.

When you start achieving your dreams, you’ll start meeting other achievers. When you talk to them you’ll realize that they are just ordinary people with extraordinary dreams.

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At the end of the Albertville 1992 Closing Ceremonies the crowd got to storm the field and dance with the athletes. It was a blast!

Remember to celebrate your victories.

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Ruben and Prince Albert of Monaco (bobsledder) at the men’s luge start house in Igls, Austria.

You never know who’s going to walk into your life… always have your camera ready!

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Doubles luge sled after a crash! All you can still see are four tangled feet. But they came back and were winning races later in the season!

Winners are willing to crash and burn on the way to success. The first two years in the luge I was crashing 4 out of 5 times. Then the third year I finally figured out  how to drive my sled and started crashing only 1 out of 100 times. But by then all the wannabees had quit.

Ninety percent of people quit EVERYTHING – sales, medical school, business, professional speaking, EVERYTHING! If you refuse to quit, constantly try different approaches, and surround yourself with winners, 90% of your competition will quit from under you and you’ll be in the top 10%. Guaranteed!

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Sigulda Track in Latvia with my brother Marcelo.

Involve your family in your dreams.

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Marcelo and I at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics. We made Olympic history by becoming the first brothers to compete against each other in the Olympic Men’s Luge!

Once you reach your dreams, help other people reach their dreams. 

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Carrying Olympic Torch on the way to Salt Lake City.

One peak experience leads to another.

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Opening Ceremonies Salt Lake 2002.

The feeling of pride, joy, and utter happiness was definitely worth the work, sacrifice, blood and tears. Go for your dream. Make your life a masterpiece!

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When the Children of Light sang for us at the Opening Ceremony, the moment was so emotional that there was not a dry eye in the whole stadium.

Going for your dream is a very emotional thing. All along the way you vividly imagine what it’s going to be like what you get there. When you encounter setbacks you feel terrible, but when you finally taste the sweet taste of success, you know that it was all worth it. 

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Men’s Start Salt Lake City.

Finish what you start.

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Ruben 84 MPH Salt Lake City Olympics 2002. Four years of training for four luge runs that take less than a minute each. But you’re an Olympian forever.

Pursue your dream, persevere, and when you realize your dream, no one will be able to ever take it from you. The person you become on the way to your dream is the real prize.

You have a responsibility to pursue your dream because if you don’t go after your dream, you’re depriving the world of the best “you” you can be.

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Torino Winter Olympics 2006.

If I could make my dream come true, so can you! Dream it, Believe it, Work hard, and Achieve it!

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My children Gabriela and Gracen surprise me at the end of my Olympic race in Vancouver (this is by far my favorite picture in 27 years of luging).

Involve your family in your dreams.

Even though I didn’t even take up the sport of luge until I was 21 years old, I was able to become the only person to ever compete in four Winter Olympics EACH in a different decade (1988, 1992, 2002, 2010).

That doesn’t mean I’m good. It only means I’m old.

I don’t believe I’m special. I simply followed some timeless success principles consistently and persistently. You can realize your goals and dreams as well if you follow these principles. Discover them below.

Ruben’s Rules

Ruben’s Beliefs

How to Achieve Your Goals

Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez


Pursue Your Dream


Ever since I was 10 years old, my dream has been to become an Olympian. Making the decision to pursue my dream transformed my whole life.

People always ask me if I want my children to be Olympians. My answer is that it does not matter to me if they become Olympians. That was MY dream.

Their job is to find THEIR dreams and to pursue them. My job is to encourage them and to continue pursuing my own dreams in order to be a good example to them.

What about you? Are you pursuing your dream? If not, why not?

Chase your dream. Make your life an adventure.


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez