LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Clinton Presidential Center welcomes Olympic Gold Medalist Dan O’Brien to town today.
The “World’s Greatest Athlete” 1996 Olympic decathlon champion will participate in two separate events including a free public program on Friday and a kids track and field day on Saturday.
O’Brien will speak at a free public program in the center’s Great Hall at noon Friday about his touching story of overcoming personal adversity, his remarkable Olympic experience, as well as how resilience can lead to redemption. KARK 4 News weekday evening anchor Ashley Ketz will moderate for the program, which is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Please RSVP online at this link or call (501) 748-0425.
The Kids Track & Field Day starts at 9 a.m. Saturday in the center’s park and is an opportunity for children, ages 6 – 11, to learn track and field basics with an Olympic gold medalist. O’Brien will lead the activities, which will include: children’s hurdles, javelin throw simulation, agility exercises, long jump activities, sprint races and balance drills. It is free and open to the public.
Millions of Americans proudly watched Dan O’Brien win the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal to become the first American winner in the sport since 1976. As an Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon, Dan O’Brien is officially considered the “World’s Greatest Athlete,” and his name is synonymous with athletic achievement and success both on and off the field.
Adopted at the age of two, and raised in a home with seven other children of racially mixed backgrounds – Dan has overcome many adversities throughout his life. And with a great deal of self-determination and commitment, he has become one of the most successful and dominant athletes in the history of sports. He is an inspirational leader and motivational force for millions of people across the world.
O’Brien’s visit coincides with the center’s exhibit “American Champions: The Quest for Olympic Glory.” Set against the backdrop of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and 20 years after the Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia, American Champions: The Quest for Olympic Glory tells the story of American athletes in the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games. Beyond celebrating their achievements and athleticism, the exhibit, like the Games themselves, honors the human spirit that unites us all: across borders, generations, gender and race.
The exhibit includes photographs, film, and memorabilia featuring athletes as diverse as Arkansan Clyde Scott, speed skater Bonnie Blair, tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, and curler Shawn Rojeski, along with dozens of other American Olympic athletes. Additionally, this is the first exhibition about the Olympic and Paralympic Games to feature significant material related to American Presidents.