Marquis Athletes

September 17, 2010

Testimonial: Sirona Dental Systems

Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner delivered a motivational keynote speech for Sirona Dental Systems’ CEREC 25 Celebration in late August in Las Vegas, NV. We recently received the following testimonial about the event:

“Everyone on our staff just fell in love with Rulon and couldn’t stop talking about how nice he was and how easy it was to work with him.”

For more information about booking Rulon Gardner for your next event, visit our website at or contact us at


August 17, 2010

Tips for Successful Speaker Events

You’ve decided to hire a motivational speaker for your next event to inspire your staff and/or customers, but if you’ve never worked with a speaker, you’re probably thinking–now what? You want your event to be a success, and you don’t want to walk away from the event thinking you made a mistake–or worse wasted your company’s resources on the event. Here’s some tips to help make your event a success:

1. If you haven’t already hired a speaker, work hard to make sure you’ve hired a great one!  Sounds simple, but not all speakers are created equal–ask for references, ask for a copy of the speech on DVD, ask how often they get repeat business (and ask for one of those companies as a reference).

2. Plan your event early! If you’re scrambling at the last minute, you’re more likely to forget important details.

3. Know your program materials (or just the message you want to convey in the event) and provide this information to your speaker. Ask them to weave your message or company ideals into their speech. Set up a conference call with the speaker a week before the event to go over your key points–this will help tie the entire event together, and a great speaker will do this seamlessly within their existing speech.

4. Have a back-up plan in mind–things happen, you want to be prepared! Have an alternate speaker in mind (preferably someone local). A great speaker won’t just cancel on your event (they’ll be contractually obligated to attend), but that doesn’t mean an accident can’t happen on the way to the airport, or the week before. You’ll also want to book the flight for the speaker to allow time for the inevitable airport delays, traffic en route to your event, etc.

5. Ask your speaker how long their speech is, whether they allow Q&A and what their policy is on autographs–great speakers can tweak the length of their speech to fit your event, you can organize Q&A ahead of time to make it run smoothly (i.e., by having people submit questions in advance, then your planning team can just pick the best ones) and great speakers will make sure your attendees get autographs (many speakers will walk away at the end of a set time period, whether there are people in line or not).

What other ideas have helped make your events a success?

–Danielle Marquis, Owner, Marquis Athletes, LLC

Marquis Athletes, LLC is a sports management firm representing retired Olympic athlete and motivational speaker Rulon Gardner. For more information on events with Rulon, contact us at

June 16, 2010

“Rulon Gardner defeats Alexander Karelin” Named “#7 Upset in Sports History”–above “The Miracle on Ice”

The “Bleacher Report” announced its “Giant Killers: Top 10 Upsets in Sports History” this week, and “Rulon Gardner defeats Alexander Karelin” was listed as the #7 upset–above “The Miracle on Ice” which came in at #10. Gardner’s stunning defeat of Russian Alexander Karelin was also the first Olympic upset on the list, and along with “The Miracle on Ice” they were the only Olympic upsets on the list.

The article begins by explaining that “one word can be used to describe certain teams that overcome adversity to win and that is excellence. Excellence is a trait that is not built in teams, but is earned. Underdogs achieve excellence through hard work and determination to upset unbeatable favorites.”

The article describes Gardner’s defeat of Karelin this way:

Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin had not surrendered a single point during a 10-year span heading into the 2000 Summer Olympics. He had never lost in 15 years of international competition, and had won three consecutive Olympic gold medals and seven consecutive world titles….Karelin faced American Rulon Gardner who had never finished better than fifth in any international wrestling competition. This was supposed to be another opponent crushed at the hands of Alexander the Great, but on this night it was Gardner who won gold in a stunning 1-0 defeat of Karelin. Gardner crushed the one-man dynasty of Karelin in Sydney and claimed the golf, solidifying Gardner as one of the biggest underdogs in Olympic history.”‘

The complete Top 10 list is:

1. Upset upsets Man O’ War

2. 2007 NBA Playoffs: No. 8 Warriors def. No. 1 Mavericks

3. Super Bowl XLII: Giants def. Patriots

4. George Mason advances to Final Four

5. Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson

6. 1984 NCAA Final: Villanova stuns Georgetown

7. Rulon Gardner defeats Alexander Karelin

8. 1969 Miracle Mets

9. Super Bowl III: Jets def. Colts

10. The Miracle on Ice

Rulon Gardner is available for motivational speeches to corporate groups, nonprofits and schools. He shares with his audience how he overcame adversity to win Olympic gold, and how he earned excellence through hard work and determination. For more information on speaking events or endorsement opportunities, contact Marquis Athletes at

August 21, 2009

Rulon Gardner Named #2 Greatest Individual Sports Upset Ever by Fox Sports

In these tough economic times, wouldn’t it be great to get someone who has done the impossible to motivate your employees? To get them to push past the bleak financial news, the layoffs, the increased workloads and really do something great for your company?

Motivational speaker and Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner was just named #2 on a Fox Sports list of Top 10 Greatest Individual Sports Upsets Ever–he might be the guy you’re looking for. He was listed behind Buster Douglas and ahead of Yang–who just upset Tiger Woods. Yes, THAT, Tiger Woods.

What makes Gardner’s story so great? Well, for starters, he won a Gold Medal. A pretty amazing achievement in its own right, but when you consider that he won that Gold Medal against 3-time Gold Medalist Alexander Karelin–who had not been defeated in international competition in 13 years, who was nicknamed “the Siberian Tiger,” “the Russian Bear,” “King Kong,” and, my personal favorite, “the Experiment” for his powerfully muscled physique and punishing wrestling style (his signature move was to throw opponents on their head–risking neck and spinal fractures). Still not convinced that this was a David v. Goliath worthy matchup? Gardner grew up on a dairy farm, didn’t win a high school wrestling match in his tiny WY town until his senior year and was shaped like a teddy bear.

Ready to make that booking? Visit our website at or contact us at info at marquisathletes dot com. Mention you saw this blog post, and I’ll give you a 20% discount.

-Danielle, Owner & Sports Agent, Marquis Athletes, LLC

October 23, 2008

Overcoming Adversity: Motivational Speaker Rulon Gardner

Motivational speaker Rulon Gardner is an expert on overcoming adversity–he grew up the youngest of nine children on a dairy farm, struggled with a learning disability throughout his education, defeated the greatest wrestler of all time in the Sydney Olympics, survived a snowmobile accident and exposure to the elements, came back from an amputated toe due to that accident to win Bronze in Athens and recently survived a plane crash into Lake Powell. It’s no wonder our customers, like Rhonda Hale of Breakthrough in Wichita, KS, think his message is so important–

“The event went AMAZING. Everyone had so much fun and we had a great turnout! Thank you for helping me set everything up….We just appreciated him so much! I hope he knows how much he touched our organization and our community. Thank you again.”

Would you like to book Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner for your next event? Visit our website at or contact us at info at marquisathletes dot com for more information.

Create a free website or blog at