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Excellence in Life, Not Just Elite Athletics with John Roethlisberger
Episode 612th March 2024 • Journey Together • Carrie Tollefson
00:00:00 00:43:41

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Join me, your host Carrie, today as I sit down with John Roethlisberger, a three-time Olympian gymnast, fellow NBC commentator, and director of FlipFest, a gymnastics camp. We dive into his incredible journey, filled with familial gymnastic influences, three Olympic Games, and the profound impact of his dad as a coach!

In our rapid-fire round, we navigate the Minnesota sports scene, from Twins vs. Vikings to Prince's timeless influence. John's insights into his journey, from a gymnastics family to competing in three Olympics, provide a unique perspective on the dedication and passion that define elite athletes.

Our conversation also takes a fascinating turn into the realm of youth sports, as John emphasizes the importance of gymnastics beyond its physical benefits. He shares valuable lessons on kindness, toughness, and hard work, values which he instills in his own family.

As we explore his coaching experiences, John unveils the essence of his summer camp, focusing on joy, self-belief, and the potential for greatness beyond gymnastics. We get an intimate glimpse into his parenting philosophy, stressing kindness, toughness, and hard work as crucial pillars for his children's development.

The discussion also takes a turn towards mental health, with John candidly discussing the personal impact of these issues within his family and society. He shares the challenges elite athletes face in maintaining a balance between physical and mental toughness, shedding light on the often-overlooked aspect of an athlete's journey.

Join us for an episode packed with inspiration, laughter, and genuine reflections on life as an elite athlete, coach, and parent. Get ready to be motivated and entertained on this journey through the world of gymnastics and beyond!

In this episode:

[02:24] John prefers Prince over Bob Dylan.

[03:13] John shares how he grew up in a gymnastics family and joined the '92, '96, and 2000 Olympic teams, cherishing the journey despite not winning a medal.

[06:40] Encouraged by his dad, John gravitated towards gymnastics, emphasizing its toughness and long-term benefits for kids.

[09:35] For young kids, gymnastics is about the experience, not perfection.

[10:20] As a driven grade schooler, John's intense passion and competitiveness were tempered by self-imposed challenges and lessons.

[13:25] The challenges of being parents with a passion for sports involve avoiding undue pressure.

[14:14] In John's family, kindness, toughness, and hard work are emphasized, fostering resilience and a balanced life.

[16:25] John's primary hope is for his three boys to lead fulfilling lives beyond athletic victories.

[18:08] In youth sports, John emphasizes prioritizing enjoyment, positive attitude, and sincere effort over early victories.

[21:13] It's important to balance progress and enjoyment in youth sports.

[22:28] Despite a Hall of Fame induction, John's dad prioritized the process, shaping his perspective on success.

[24:07] Hear how John values instilling in his son the importance of embracing the grind in sports.

[27:39] John values his business partnership with Olympic teammate John McCreadie.

[28:48] John stresses the urgent need to destigmatize mental health, drawing from personal experiences and observations.

[31:16] Listen as John reflects on the mental challenges of elite athleticism, highlighting the struggle to balance physical and mental well-being.

[33:15] John emphasizes the vital intersection of mental health and sports challenges for elite athletes, citing Simone Biles' experience as a powerful example.

[36:38] Currently less involved in coaching, John passionately runs a summer camp, prioritizing joy, self-belief, and life excellence.

[38:24] John reflects on memorable sports moments, like Rulon Gardner's 2000 wrestling victory, expressing interest in hearing untold stories.

[39:55] John recalls a 60s discus champ and anticipates stories, also highlighting Phelps' unexpected relay win in Beijing.

[41:10] Does John have a wakeup song?

Links and Resources:

Agora Sports Network -

Connect with John: 

John on Twitter: 

John on Instagram: 

FlipFest Gymnastics Camp on Instagram:

Connect with Carrie:

C Tolle Run -

C Tolle Run Podcast -

Carrie on Instagram -

Carrie on Facebook -

Carrie on Twitter -

Carrie on LinkedIn -

Mentioned in this episode:

Don Pablo Coffee

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