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Olympian urges Northwest Arkansas to ‘go for gold’

Tuesday, February 25, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton encouraged more than 450 Network of Executive Women members to tap into their competitive edge at the NEW Northwest Arkansas learning event, Feb. 20, 2014, in Rogers, Ark.

Retton shared her personal and professional experiences at the sold-out event. A opening clip of Retton’s gold-medal winning performance at the 1984 Summer Olympics prompted a standing ovation from the crowd. She earned five medals during the summer games.

"It takes the same qualities to become a champion in business as it does to become a champion in athletics,” Retton said. Raising the bar at work and in life requires "being the best every day.”

The Olympian encouraged attendees to know their strengths, seek challenges and take risks. "When you see the door of opportunity, you have to go through it,” she advised. "Don’t be afraid. You don’t know what’s on the other side, but the opportunity may never come back.”

Overcoming obstacles was a key factor in Retton’s success. At age 14, Retton decided to leave her family and friends in her small West Virginia hometown to work with famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi. "I didn't want to spend my life wondering ‘what if,’" she said.

Organizations sending large delegations to the event include Altria, The Clorox Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra Foods Inc., Coty Inc., Hallmark Cards Inc., Hormel Foods Corporation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods Group Inc., MillerCoors, Nestlé, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble, Sam’s Club, Tyson Foods, Inc., Unilever and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.


KNWA-TV colleagues Sarah Gillmer and Lisa Kelsey join keynote speaker
Mary Lou Retton, Laine Baker, Meredith 
Thomas and Marissa Kargas at the
NEW Northwest 
Arkansas spring event.


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