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How Olympic medalist Hollis Conway works to motivate others

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 19, 2024

Hollis Conway had a slow start out of the blocks of life. His head was lodged under his mother's rib cage during her pregnancy, and he’d be given only a 50% chance of ever being an ordinary child.

“My grandmother used to tell me that she had shaped my head because it was smashed under my mom’s ribs,” Conway said. “It became a joke that my head is shaped funny.”

Conway grew up to become an extraordinary star. The Shreveport native turned into a world class high jumper which led him to earning a scholarship at Louisiana.

Conway went on to set countless records, gain All-American honors, collegiate titles, and spring atop the U.S. rankings.

He even set an American high jump record outdoors, a milestone that he achieved in 1991 that still stands to this day.

“It was a step-by-step process where each goal that I accomplished allowed the next one to become a reality,” Conway said.

Conway's greatest leaps came on the world’s biggest stage where he became a two-time Olympic medalist.

Those accolades have landed him in countless hall of fame classes…

The most recent one came weeks ago when the Collegiate Track & Field/Cross Country Athlete Hall of Fame inducted him into this year’s class.

“To make the third class really gave me a sense of pride,” Conway said. “All of those emotions came. I was extremely excited.”

Along with working with Lafayette Travel, Conway is a motivational speaker. Similar to his high jumping career, it’s allowed him to reach people across the world.

His goal is to create a jolt of inspiration into their lives.

“If I die and the only thing people remember is that I made the Olympics, I’ve failed in life,” Conway said. “I’ve seen when I pass my medals into audiences and people touch them. All of a sudden, they realize that they can do something special with their lives.”

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