At the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Nikki Stone became America’s first-ever Olympic Champion in the sport of inverted aerial skiing. What made this performance so unbelievable, was the fact that less than two years earlier, a chronic injury prevented her from standing, much less walking or skiing down a slope at almost 40 miles per hour. Nikki came dangerously close to being sidelined from aerial skiing indefinitely.
Her tenacity and refusal to step down from a challenge brought Nikki Stone back to the top of the freestyle skiing podium. This top spot was far from foreign to Nikki, as throughout her career she earned 35 World Cup medals, eleven World Cup titles, four national titles, two yearlong Aerial World Cup titles, and a World Championship title. She also became the first pure aerialist ever (male or female) to become the yearlong Overall Freestyle World Cup Champion.
Nikki now travels around the world working as a sought-after inspirational speaker sharing her secrets to success. Nikki has spoken for hundreds of thousands now, including startups all the way to Fortune 500 corporations—some of her clients include John Hancock, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, American Express, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Procter and Gamble, Morgan Stanley, AT&T, Visa, 3M, New York Life, Johnson and Johnson, Hilton Hotels, Anheuser Busch, 3M, and many more. Nikki was even named the International Professional Speaker of the Year one year from American Speakers Bureau Corporation. She encourages and inspires her audiences to find their Turtle Effect by realizing their passions, triumphing over obstacles and take life-enhancing risks, like she did, to reach extraordinary goals that may initially seem unattainable.
Nikki has further parlayed her skills and knowledge into her popular Motivational Minutes program that share a year-full of inspiring videos filled with short segments that include unique, but relatable tips on peak performance, motivation, exercise, nutrition, and overall wellness to help people find their own achievements.
Because of Nikki’s successful background, the U.S. Olympic Committee engaged her to help train the current and upcoming athletes on overcoming challenges, finding motivation, and dealing with these pressures at the Olympic Games. And due to her constant referrals as a motivational speaker, the United States Olympic Committee also contracted Nikki to train the Olympians in speaking, presentation, and mentoring skills.
Nikki also authored the empowering book, When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out, which was honored as an Amazon bestseller. Nikki was invited on the Today Show to share the success of the book. When Turtles Fly includes inspirational stories from successful individuals from all different arenas (politicians, actors/actresses, Fortune 500 business executives, musicians, bestselling authors, athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and more) and after each story, Nikki gives readers different activities that they can perform to help reinforce the behavior needed for success in their own business and lifestyle. Stone also writes articles and columns for a number of magazines, newspapers, and websites, including the Huffington Post. Nikki is also a contributing author to the inspirational book Awaken the Olympian Within: Stories from America's Greatest Olympic Motivators.
In addition to her skiing, authoring, and speaking endeavors, Nikki is also a Magna Cum Laude undergraduate of Union College in New York and a Summa Cum Laude Master’s graduate of the University of Utah in the field of Sports Psychology. Nikki has helped counsel athletes in helping them strive towards world class productivity and performance. With her incredible academic record and her remarkable presentation skills, the University of Utah voted Nikki “Student of the Year” and asked her to work as a Visiting Professor to teach a class on Leadership.
Nikki’s contributions span far beyond her professional careers, as she devotes time to charities such as “Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation, “The Make-A-Wish Foundation” & “American Cancer Society”, hosts group skiing adventures, and participates in numerous sponsor promotions for major national and international companies. She has also remained very involved philanthropically by sitting on five different Olympic, sport, and charitable committees.
You may have seen Nikki through her numerous television appearances on such shows as The Today Show (4 separate times), Good Morning America, Late Night with David Letterman, CNN Early Addition, MSNBC Morning Line, ESPN’s Cold Pizza, FOX News Sports Express, CNN Business As Unusual, and FOX Sports News live. You could have also caught Nikki in one of her nationally televised commercials for companies like Chevrolet and Visa.
Nikki now resides in South Carolina and continually works to help people stick their necks out to reach whatever their gold medal may be.
How do individuals find the drive for what they do? How do they conquer their greatest obstacle? How do they take the appropriate risks to make sure their business skyrockets? Nikki relates how clients can answer these questions through her incredible Turtle Effect philosophy. Nikki discovered that she could find the passion to pursue her lifelong dreams, she could find the strength to overcome a spinal injury that 10 doctors told her wasn’t possible, and she could take the risk of soaring 50 feet in the air off a 10 foot all snow jump to win an Olympic Gold medal despite being afraid of heights. With inspiring tools, people find that Nikki’s inspiration will motivate them long after they have heard her speak.
“You motivate me still, today. Your inspiration will last a lifetime…I took your advice and surmounted the obstacles by focusing on my strengths--even when I wasn't sure if my strengths were still there. And now, I'm celebrating my victories as I move forward. And each victory reminds me that even in the face of adversity, my strengths were still there. This allows me to put risk--and fear--in perspective.”
Olympic Gold Medalists have reached a level of success that very few people in the world have achieved. Nikki has analyzed and researched why she and many other professionals have found this success. Let Nikki truly motivate your organization through her engaging and moving journey while demonstrating the activities that will help every individual surge an all new level of excellence.
“It’s easy to see why everyone fell in love with your story, motivation, generosity, and character. Your enthusiasm was contagious and your message was so moving…You really are the best motivational speaker I’ve ever heard!”
There is a compelling comparison that can be made between the difficulties of overcoming a career-threatening injury in a risky sport and the fears and challenges that most professionals face in their quest to be the best. Hear how Nikki creatively makes this link and encourages attendees stand up to their obstacles and learn from the experience in order to cut a new path towards the finish line. Nikki will help change an attitude of discouragement to an experience of encouragement through a story filled with laughter, tears and lot of fist-pumping.
“Wow, wow, WOW! That presentation was POWERFUL!! We all felt like we were right there with you…. You could feel the electric energy flying from that conference room as we walked out after you spoke.”
We all want to be the best at what we do. We want to stand out, be recognized and acknowledged for our achievements. But whether you are an individual in an organization or an athlete representing your country, we all need to appreciate and utilize the team surrounding us. There’s no secret to finding a support system, the real secret lies in using it. Explore the hands-on activities Nikki shares in helping attendees reach new heights and use their support system to make sure they can land on their feet.
“It says something about a speaker that can captivate the entire audience during Sundance, at a fantastic ski resort, amidst an array of varied, accomplished speakers. You definitely stole the show!!”