For Immediate Release
Date January 30, 2018
Contact: Hailie Pease (208) 908-8348
Breakfast with Fosbury and Friends Welcomes Gold Medalist Butch Reynolds
Pocatello, Idaho – As a track and field legend, Olympic gold medalist, and former world record holder, Harry “Butch” Reynolds has traveled the world and could choose many places to spend a long weekend. But this year, he will be at Simplot Games.
“Some people go to Vegas. Some people go to Disney. I go to Idaho,” Reynolds said excitedly about his upcoming visit to Pocatello.
Each year, Simplot Games invites an Olympian to be the keynote speaker at its Breakfast with Fosbury and Friends event. This year, attendees will hear from Reynolds, a three-time Olympian, gold and silver medalist in the 1988 Olympics, and holder of the 400-meter world record for 11 years.
With a roller coaster of a life story, Reynolds has no shortage of topics to talk about. He plans to share his insights into transitions in life, how to overcome adversities and negativity in the world, the importance of setting goals, and conflict resolution.
One of Reynolds’ many transitions in life happened in 1988 when he broke the world record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 43.29 seconds.
Just focusing on running hard, Reynolds did not expect to break the iconic 20-year-old world record, and did not realize he had done it until he turned around and saw his time on the stadium clock.
“It was an awesome feeling,” Reynolds said. “I don’t remember being born…(or) taking my first breath, but I’m sure it was something like that. It was just that much awesome.”
Breaking a world record is a great reward for any athlete, but Reynolds enjoyed the entire journey that led to that moment.
“Track and field was a love,” Reynolds said. “It was a true love relationship. I love to run. I love to compete. I love to practice. I love to do my best.”
Another transition occurred in 1990, when adversity hit hard with a failed drug test, allegations of drug use, and a two-year suspension issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). A long legal battle to clear Reynolds’ name followed, with the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Reynolds’ case that the failed test was flawed and reinstating him to compete. Reynolds explained that those tumultuous years hurt him so deeply that it felt like losing a child.
“It hurt me that deep because I put all that I had into it,” he said.
Though his love turned against him, Reynolds did not want his adversity to negatively impact the kids he encourages to run track. He even created the Butch Reynolds Cares for Kids Foundation, which promotes education and wellness among athletes and youth in Akron, Ohio. His blessings in life have been the motivation that continually propels Reynolds into giving back to the community and the sport he loves.
Despite all the hardships and hurt he endured in his track and field career, Reynolds has focused his energy and story on spreading positivity and inspiration.
“The only time it’s over or too late is when you give up, when you lose hope, when you lose faith,” Reynolds said. “Don’t ever lose hope. Don’t ever lose faith. Don’t ever give up.”
He has the same philosophy when it comes to working hard as an athlete. No matter the skill level, Reynolds encourages athletes to shoot for the moon and not get discouraged. In case they are looking for a little help though, Reynolds has some experience in the training department too.
“You can call me Butch Reynolds, speedologist. I can break you down. I can lift you up. I can increase your speed to no end. With proper form and technique, anyone can do anything.”
Don’t miss out on the whole story and more insight from Butch Reynolds at this year’s Breakfast with Fosbury and Friends on February 16 at 7:15 a.m. in Idaho State University’s Student Union Ballroom. To purchase tickets call (208) 235-5604 or visit www.simplotgames.com.
More than 2,100 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada and Australia to participate in the 40th annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5604 or Simplot Games Media Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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