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Paralympic downhill skiing medalist Bonnie St. John will be the featured speaker at the 2013 NCAA Convention Association Luncheon on Jan. 17 in Grapevine, Texas.
St. John won a silver and two bronze medals at the 1984 Winter Paralympics, the first medals for an African-American in the Winter Olympics.
In addition to her athletics achievements, St. John found success in academia, politics and business, all after her right leg was amputated when she was five years old. Despite facing discrimination, disability and economic disadvantages, St. John graduated with honors from Harvard University and studied economics at Oxford after winning a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. She was recognized with numerous awards while a sales representative at IBM and, in 1993, President Clinton appointed her to serve as a director of the National Economic Council.
Today, St. John travels the world for her speaking engagements, is president of her own business, and hosts a web-based TV and radio show. She has authored five books, including “Succeeding Sane: Making Room for Joy in a Crazy World”; “Getting Ahead at Work Without Leaving Your Family Behind”; and “Live Your Joy”. She appears on many TV and radio programs, including “Today” and “Good Mornin,g America.” The New York Times, People and Essence magazines featured St. John and her accomplishments in their publications.
St. John’s success in the face of physical adversity taught her that the key to winning is not just bouncing back from obstacles, but doing so faster than the competition. Her speaking presentations reinforce the need for individuals to achieve their personal best.
St. John’s address is part of the NCAA’s inclusion efforts to educate on racial and gender diversity, international relations, LGBTQ and disability issues.