Rocky Bleier

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Biography

Rocky Bleier's life story - a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam - has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century.

He was not very big and not very fast, but he was an incredibly determined athlete when the Steelers picked him late in the 1968 draft. Before he could prove himself as a rookie, he was drafted again, this time for combat duty in Vietnam. A few months later, crippled by enemy rifle fire and grenade wounds in both legs, Bleier faced his biggest challenge. He could barely walk...he certainly couldn't run. To ever play professional football seemed impossible.

But Rocky Bleier did the impossible. The story of Bleier's agonizing two-year battle to overcome his injuries and return to the Pittsburgh Steelers is described in the book Fighting Back, and recreated in the 1980 ABC-TV movie of the same name. The rest of his exciting 12-year career is history...how he pressed on to become one of the Steelers' top leading ground gainers...how he passed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in one season...how he contributed to 4 Super Bowl victories...how he consistently made the big play during important games with uncanny predictability.

Bleier's ability to inspire effort and commitment from others continues. Rocky Bleier has been active in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the International Special Olympics. As a board member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, he helped make possible the erection of the Washington, DC, Memorial.

Bleier's special qualities have been recognized by colleagues as well as others who have honored him with awards too numerous to list in detail. Among them are the Whizzer White Humanitarian Award, the Vince Lombardi Award, and the Most Courageous Athlete of the Decade Award. He was also chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Year by the U.S. Jaycees.

Speaking Topics

Rocky Bleier is in demand as a speaker, motivating audiences in a wide variety of organizations, corporations, and universities. Bleier sees parallels between the challenges he faced in the past and the challenges all business people face in today's crowded, competitive marketplace.

What makes Rocky Bleier so popular as a speaker is his ability to translate core values in his speech, "Be the Best You Can Be". With real-world practicality, he points out ways to reach new levels of inner-confidence. His message consistently brings audiences to their feet and re-energizes them for personal and work challenges ahead. His advice is not about avoiding life's twists and turns but conditioning one's self to lean into them and to incorporate the resulting energy in realizing goals. Once they have heard Bleier's message, audiences understand why he is able to move so easily from one challenge to the next.

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