Hollis Conway overcame many obstacles to become one of the world’s best high jumpers, setting several records which are still unbroken.
Now the track and field hall of famer inspires others to become their best.
“You’ve gotta discover your purpose,” Conway said.
He tried several sports at Fairpark High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, before finding his talent.
“The first time I did the high jump, I jumped over the bar, missed the mat, hit the ground and knocked the wind out of myself,” Conway recalled.
Despite that, Conway dreamed of competing in the Olympics. He worked extremely hard, improved quickly and realized his Olympic goals, winning silver at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, and bronze in the ’92 games in Barcelona, Spain, but he wanted the gold.
“In ’92, I was number one in the world. I was the favorite to win and I got third in the tie breaker. I’m pretty mad that I kind of blew this opportunity and then you think I’ll go to ’96 and win the gold medal and I ended up not making the team,” Conway shared.
He didn’t have the chance to go for the gold in Atlanta, but he was chosen to be one of the torch bearers, carrying the Olympic flame that year.
“This is real special to me,” Conway said. “My other two medals were based on my athletic performance but this is based on my service to the community.”
And he continues to serve and motivate as a speaker and as a high-level director with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“I’ve learned that one story can change not only one person but the way their family looks at life, the way their community looks at life and so it’s really given me a platform to make a difference.”