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A Day of Champions looks to support young athletes

Jun 19, 2017 04:11PM ● Published by Jesse Sindelar

Jeremy Holm is an American bobsled athlete who founded A Day of Champions, a student-athlete support foundation. (Jeremy Holm/ Draper)

Gallery: A Day of Champions looks to support young athletes [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Jesse Sindelar | jesse.s@mycityjournals.com
 
Jeremy Holm has a passion-filled life of irony. The American bobsled athlete has had an accomplishment-filled life, but he was not born with a passion for bobsled.
 
“I hated roller coasters as a kid. And I am from Oklahoma. Neither of those things lend themselves to becoming a bobsledder, but I guess God has a sense of humor,” Holm joked.
 
Holm moved to Utah at a young age, and attended Skyline High School. During his sophomore year, he decided to pursue bobsledding, and his career has only gone up from there.
 
He has been a professional bobsled trainer and the head coach for the United States Adaptive Bobsled team, which allows for wheelchair athletes and amputees to compete in bobsledding. Holm has also published two books and does public speaking throughout the country.
 
However, while his career has flourished, Holm has struggled personally with other problems.
 
“I struggled with anxiety and depression when I was younger. Bobsled really helped, it was such a good outlet,” Holm said.
 
Enter his foundation, A Day of Champions. The foundation looks to support student athletes, as well as their parents and coaches, to not only be better athletes, but to be better people, as well.
 
“A Day of Champions organizes student-athlete conferences, so pretty much like TED talks for athletes, coaches and parents,” Holm said.
 
“We are looking to take our previous experiences in high-level athletics, and in life in general, and share that with young, upcoming athletes, as well as their coaches and their parents,” said Holm.
 
These experiences range from sports nutrition and body health to leadership qualities and the psyche of a champion. But one of the most important skills the foundation wants to teach is overcoming adversity.
 
Holm wants this foundation to show athletes how their sport can teach them how to overcome adversity and how this skill can support them in their lives as well, with his own struggle with anxiety and depression as the first example.
 
“Nowadays, these specialized student athletes work so hard to succeed. (A Day of Champions) wants to help them succeed, but also be a mentor to them, and prep them for life, college and career. I struggled, but my sport was my outlet, and I hope to create a great future for these kids,” Holm said.
 
The next conference will be at Cottonwood High School on Oct. 7. Speakers include a former Miss USA and  an ESPN commentator, a Paralympic snowboarder who beat cancer and a sports nutritionist for the U.S. Olympic Ski team.
 
For the future, Holm only wants to improve and expand.
 
“We hope to soon be doing a conference in every state in the nation. We are working on a documentary-esque video about athletes overcoming adversity, and training material to hand out for coaches and parents,” Holm said. “We want to benefit the athletic community across the board. Our goal is to elevate, educate and motivate. If we can save or inspire one kid in this process, it is totally worth it.”
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