The Failure of exceptional athletes and scientists

At EPIC, we are studying exceptional achievement among scientists and athletes and how failure experiences have shaped their path to success. We interviewed Nobel Laureates and exceptional athletes to understand the strategies that they used to benefit from their failure experiences. Unpacking their wisdoms and beliefs would inspire students to tackle struggles and setbacks in school and beyond.

Recently, we have interviewed the following great minds:

Exceptional Athletes:

  • Nathan Adrian, Swimming, World Champion, Olympic Champion, NCAA Champion
  • Valerie Ackerman, Basketball, Founding President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Former President of USA Basketball
  • Shane Battier, Basketball,  2XNBA World Championships, NCAA National Champion
  • Simone Biles, Gymnastics, World Champion, Olympic Champion, Considered the greatest Gymnast of all time
  • Natalie Coughlin, Swimming, World Champion, Olympic Champion, 12X Olympic Medalist, 12X NCAA National Champion
  • Julie Foudy, Soccer, Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Kristen Kjellman, Lacrosse, All-time Northwestern Record for Goals and Points, Sportswomen of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation
  • Adam Oates, Ice Hockey, NHL Hall of Fame, Named NHL top 100 greatest players of all time, NCAA National Champion
  • Dan O’Brien, Decathlon, World Champion, Olympic Champion, National Track & Field Hall of Fame
  • Dan Quinn, Ice Hockey, Team Canada in the World Championships, NHL Star
  • Nolan Pratt, Hockey, 2-time Stanley Cup Winner, NHL Coach of the Colorado Avalanche
  • Brad Wilkerson, Baseball, MLB star, Olympic Championship, NCAA World Series Champion, NCAA National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • David Duval, Golf, Former No. 1 Golfer in the World, Open Champion

Nobel Laureates:

  • Martin Chalfie, Ph.D. in Neurobiology, Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, A 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
  • Joachim Frank, Ph.D. in Physics, Professor of Biochemistry at Columbia University, A 2017 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
  • Edmund Phelps, Ph.D. in Economics, Professor of Economics at Columbia University, The 2008 Nobel Laureate in Economics

We want to thank you for their contribution to the advancement of educational and psychological science!

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