Olympian Teamwork: These Speakers Have It Being part of a company and playing on a sports team have a lot in common--at least that's what some Olympic medal-winning athletes believe. Many of them are on the speaking circuit and have experience with insurance groups. With another Olympic Games right around the corner (the Summer Games hit Sydney, Australia, in 2000), we offer you a look at three Olympic champions to fit in with your teambuilding and achievement themes:

* Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team, has been speaking about teamwork to sales groups for 18 years. Using his team's victory over the Russians in Lake Placid as a backdrop, Eruzione encourages attendees to believe in impossible goals. "My story is about becoming one big family," he says. "In 1980, we were able to believe in ourselves and each other, come together as a group, and accomplish what no one thought was possible." This camaraderie is the key to business success as well, he says. "It's what separates the good businesses from the great ones." Reach Eruzione through the Goodman Speakers Bureau at (860) 687-1116, or through Bob Murray at (617) 720-4411.

* Tara Vanderveer coached the 1996 U.S. women's Olympic basketball team to a gold medal in Atlanta and turned Stanford University's women's basketball program into a national powerhouse. Her motivational lesson focuses on how successful managers maximize the potential of the people whom they work with--just as top coaches do.

Vanderveer encourages managers to become part of the team and to communicate. "When I worked with the Olympic team, I had a clear picture of what I wanted and shared that with all the players," says Vanderveer. "I was specific about goals and got feedback from everyone." For more on Vanderveer, call Marc Reede of Promotional SportStars at (310) 208-5543.

* Bonnie Blair shares a teamwork story, even though her sport is considered an individual one. The five-time gold-medal-winning speed skater focuses her talks on achieving a personal best. Do what you know how to do the best way you know how to do it, she says. "Take the month of July for the insurance industry, for example," says Blair, who does much of her speaking to insurance groups. "If a sales representative adds to his clientele more than he did during the previous year's July, that's achieving a personal best." The team theme comes in, Blair says, because one sales rep's personal best benefits the whole company. "In speed skating, you want to beat out other countries, just like you want to beat out other companies in the insurance world," she says. "When you are successful, the whole company experiences success." To book Blair, contact Helen Broder of Advantage International at (703) 905-3300.