Mark McKoy of Canada. Fourth at the World
Championships in 1983. Fourth in Los Angeles in ’84. Fourth in the World Championships
in 1991. He is in lane four. Karen: So excited to be here with Mark McKoy,
1992 Gold Medal winner of the hurdles. You’re so inspiring and I’m so glad that you’re here
to share some thoughts with my students; about how to succeed doing what you love, the importance
of training, of coaching, and just having that focus, and just keep doing.
Mark: I go to schools all the time, I talk to kids and there are three things that are
most important. It’s not genetics, it’s not talent, it’s finding what you love to do,
and I mean love to do, and not like to do, because it’s a lot of hard work. The process
is simple but it’s not easy. Karen: It’s not just about picking the right
pieces and showing the kinds of things that they’re (Ryerson’s portfolio review committee)
looking for. It’s a lot of life skills too, right?
Adam: Yeah Karen: And it’s a big moment in your life
because you’re following after your goals and dreams.
Adam: Yes. It’s, you know, the cumulation of my school and this is what I’m going to
be doing, hopefully, for the rest of my life. This is the most expensive thing I’ve ever
spent money on. Mark: The thing is finding out how to do it
and I spent years and years and years working hard, getting advice from a lot of people.
But the most important thing is coaching. Not just coaching — good coaching. A lot
of people out there want to coach you, but you need the right coaching advice.
Karen: Well that’s what I saw in you that you did have the ability. It’s just how to
bring it out of the work that you had and the time that you had.
Adam: Yeah. Karen: …to show them the kinds of ideas
and the potential you have. And that’s the challenge sometimes — how to recognize what’s
gonna show them the potential that you have. Adam: Yeah
Karen: And it’s harder to know that as a high school student. What would a professor be
looking at? What does show my potential? Mark: And the third thing is just to do it.
It’s the hard work, and that’s what makes the difference between really successful people
and talented people who know they don’t have to work hard because everything falls on their
plate. Adam: I just completed my “Ryerson initiation,”
for the lack of a better term, on Saturday in the afternoon session. It was the last one
they have – six. So there were about 1,200 applicants, only about 10% of which get in.
Mark: But at the end of the day, the one that works the hardest with the best coaching,
is the one that will be most successful. Adam: I met someone there from my school.
He was the talented artist first, right? And I think I told you about this already. And
he said he was not worried at all. I mean, I get that he was a talented artist, but it
was kinda funny because I found out just yesterday, in fact, that he never got an invite.
Mark: The one thing I always tell kids is that, they see athletes who are talented,
or people in their field who are talented, they say sometimes its genetics. But I found
that hard work will beat talent and genetics a 100% of the time.
Adam: I went from having next to nothing to having a bound and printed portfolio in about
40 days. I don’t think it’s a surprise because all I ever really wanted something as much
as this. Karen: They saw ideas in you. That’s what
I saw when I look at your work and that’s why I helped you bring out your sketching
ability and your idea generation ability, right?
Mark: The odds, anyway, of winning the Olympics is one to twenty-two million. So, the odds
of winning, if you’re young and healthy, are very, very slim. I was old and unhealthy.
Adam: And then I was in the first dozen that they send out the invites to.
Karen: Ooh…fantastic! Adam: So I was in the top, like, 0.5% of all
applicants, apparently. Mark: Another good thing that’s really important
is it’s not the big things. Adam: When I was home during the weekend,
it was pretty much all of my waking hours working on this.
Mark: I trained hard, I worked out every day — hours a day — but it was the little things.
When I went to Britain and I found the best coach in the world, Malcolm Arnold, who coached
the best hurdler in the world, he noticed that my foot was off by one inch.
It’s the first hurdle and here’s McKoy, but it’s very close. Mark McKoy of Canada leads
at 50 meters. Now, does he have the strength to go all the way at the finish line?
I actually had 39 crooked steps in a race. One step translated into 39 inches. And I
won the Olympics in Barcelona by 39 inches. Canada has the gold! Canada has the gold medal!
… Mark McKoy! I think the biggest impact in my life, as
I’ve probably mentioned before, is coaching. Adam: I don’t know what I would be doing without
you here to even, like, shoot me a word now and again. I’d be completely lost. I got to
be handing in, you know, a book of that and probably walking away very discouraged a month
from now. I would totally recommend people talk to you, you’re very knowledgeable. You
know the whole thing inside and out. And I’m so glad that you were there.