This is the story of an ad campaign produced for the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona. Perennial runner-up in the sports shoe category, Reebok, was trying to make its mark and take down Nike. They chose two athletes, plucked them … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety: nine percent, invisible, nine Roman, Mars this is the story of an ad campaign. Pretty As for the ninety, ninety two Olympic Games in Barcelona, perennial runner up in the sports you Category Reebok, was trying to it gets mark and take them Nike, they chose to athletes out of obscurity gave them reeboks aware and turn them into household names, spending twenty five million dollars in the process. That was more than reeboks entire marketing budget the previous year. This add campaign is pretty much remembered as a disaster for Reebok, but it created from nothing. An epic drama I put it to a world class decathlete against each other and it resulted in so many strange twists and turns our because I thought it was a clever way, the several shoes I love this story,
the first episode of thirty four thirty podcast, which our original audio documentaries from ESPN. These are stories about sports, but there the sport stories that I like that delve into their impact on culture, politics and more here Jody arrogant to guide you through the trials of Dan and Dave? Why then, the Metro DOM one city Minneapolis inside the syrup of all one thing, so I had a party at my apartment and I get the sick Foot subway sub that was that was the centre piece. Was the six foot sub an hour You know because I, a little money in like manner bottle the booze. All the beer Quite a few people come over, and it got a little wild soup while twenty six January twenty one thousand ninety two, almost eighty million people watching on television. Many of them.
Some parties, like the one at Dan O Brien sounds everybody drinking beer and then we got into the heart alcohol and it was really fun. And is watching from Moscow. Idaho gave Johns is watching from LOS Angeles, California, I pray had thirty or forty people at my house with multiple tv setup and everybody's there, and I kind of kept a little bit of a secret and just let him know wait till you see what's going to be on here. First commercial comes on and its super short it's in third quarter just before Hepsey, add featuring Cindy Crawford, First, Dan and Dave Commercial runs featuring old photographs and green videos of two toddlers, Dan O Brien and Dave answer
Dan. Can one hundred metres in ten point three seconds Dave? Can I jobs six feet? Tenants three slash this summer, those battle it out in Barcelona for that type of world's greatest athletes. The boys expounds the men's athletic feats, but the visuals are just the photos of the two toddlers me in a bag Dave on a bike. There was just little kids and that's it everybody kind of looks around like that's it. What the hell was that and later in the same commercial break. Another short add runs Dan, should throw a sixteen pawn shop with fifty three feet three inches day, pictures and home videos online this one. The kids are a little older, maybe five or six- the set add ends the same way as the first, a quick Reebok logo and a promise this summer. The battle it out in Barcelona, title greatest athlete faded, Norton,
They didn't show us. The commercials before we saw let the Superbowl Reebok ran to more commercials making for, in total all during the third quarter and all of them just fifteen seconds, Dan won. The decathlon at the world track and field championships. Dave won the decathlon at the goodwill games this summer, they'll battle it out in Barcelona for the title of world's greatest athlete, people really be confused at first and then eventually they are going man. That is genius. There isn't talking about how amazing that that Reebok thought of doing small little commercials all the way to where there's a culmination of what they're really were talking about, and that's these two athletes that are going to go to the Olympics this year and can be settled in Barcelona. By the way the game it's pretty in line with what
beating, Buffalo thirty, seven twenty four, but the ads have made their impact when the Superbowl was over and the party was over and everybody got out of there and it was slow, but shocking, really psych. While we're here to celebrate commercial, that I was in I remember. With a group of people that I had their and they're all going to go in, and I can't believe I'm sitting that were here with Dave and I never really thought of myself that way that some You think it's cool to be with Dave, What's the first time I really sat there was going to let you know, people are going to know who I am now and I remember almost being scared. You know what do you do with that get your boss Ninety two real It was known primarily as a shoe that your mom, or to take
these classes in and they were desperate to increase their athletic credibility in ninety and he too Rick sitting worked for shy at day the ad agency hired to put together reeboks. Latest campaign. The test was pretty daunting. We ve got to. Eyes, no one's ever heard of in a in events. No one really cares about all of the time. Known athletes were Nike athletes, the Michael Jordan of the world, the most famous professional athletes in the world. If to stand out. We need to do something else Basic idea was in circles. The winner of the two caslon is the world's greatest athlete and so it wasn't hard four reeboks get excited about a campaign that said who's the world's greatest athlete this,
athlete you ve never heard of, or this other Reebok athlete you ve never heard of the gap. One by nature is, in my opinion, the toughest of all the track and feel the beds, the catholic is so tough because a combined so much it's ten events content over the course of two days, each one adding competitors overall point towards they want is the hundred metre dash long jump, chocolate, hygiene and the four hundred metre run. They too is a hundred. Ten metre hurdles, discus, pull javelin and last the fifteen hundred metre run need a track, some really interesting individuals. We don't say that athletes find that a cap on we say that the new cap lawn we'll find those athletes. That's what happened to me, I think that's. What happened. Dave born
by his own admission, he was hard. The model young man I was on admission, he was hardly the model young man I was one of those kids. I was in a lot of trouble growing up, I was I was actually throwing snowballs at cars and- and I think I did definitely learn how to throw so well, because I was able to stand farther back than anybody else and throw that apple or throw that snowball, prepare crock, I remember the first time a coach told me. What did a Catholic was said dove. Do the council- and I thought he said- Marathon the coach, no, on the hurdle, her I don't run distance and is now known that a cap on he said you know Bruce Jenner and I go well Bruce. That's a guy on ships, I remember watching television, there's Jenner, Rosanna, show culture,
at the time he was doing a cameo with them, and so I just knew him as a Hollywood tv guy, and he said now, let's hear he was an olympic Dave. Johnson was hooked then o Brien also group an organ the few our south of day, the small town of climate policy and here had his ups and downs before finding his sport. Growing up in southern Oregon. To me always felt like I was out of place. You know we had six adopted kids in the Emily. I have a sister whose, by racial like myself, a little brother whose hispanic I have a native american sister and then the korean sisters Well, when you're, the only kid of color or kids of were in your entire town, which deal Brian family was. As you know, it's it's interesting because all you wanna do when your young is fit in blend in
go along, get along in there. We are like the Rainbow Coalition every time we get out of the car and go to church the movies. It's a very weird feeling when everybody's watching you and I just remember thinking in a wire people staring at me. Why are people staring at us just our regular family? In it? until I got into sports, that I really felt like I belonged. I always thought that sports was the equalizer for didn't matter what you look like or where you came from. If you are good at sports, you were good and then was good. He became a star athlete in high school landed scholarship at the University of Idaho and their started to compete in the De Caslon and in his senior year nineteen eighty eight. He first cross paths with Dave Johnson, a few years
and already well established on the scene. You know Dave was the best American up until that point, but dance was rising quickly and others in the tight knit track community were starting to notice. I'm Jackie Jonah courtesy, the we're greatest be. May I ask Jackie, join a curse. You can say that even now, thanks to her sick olympic metals and the have longboat record she set in nineteen. Eighty eight that still stands today when you see the young talent is just a maritime. They don't have this big breakthrough worlds sustained Jackie Jonah Kersey made the comment that I could be the next Bruce Jenner. That was what I was striving to do You know most of my career. He was the hero that we all needed in nineteen. Seventy six and eight was the golden boy, and damn with that very explosive athlete Is this this yankee very wrong? You know very Targeteer than he
personality that could pull p but to him we're approach combination. I think he and I were a girl, do oh. That was meant to be where we were gonna push each other to the levels. I waited upon two By the time the nineteen eighty to Barcelona Olympics had come into view Dan and Dave had pushed each other to the top of the Global South Age Dan. Wanted a Catholic. Don't worry, tracking championships. Usually the multi this, are dominated by the Europeans and finally America is the brain, and now that the scientists like wow, you start seeing a young town it put it out together. Among the observers who took notice where the executives at Reebok, your mom's apparel was on the hunt for athletes to get into business with Dan and Dave too dominant competitors, but unknown personalities with a perfect fit.
Here are athletes put us sport. You know in the limelight to have commercial shine, do and Superbowl worse wow We can't I've looked at each other like wow. You know these two young little decathlete work a lot of attention and it's about time track unfilled ethics got that the De Caslon really us unheard of believe they're asking us to do this? This is what Jordan does Michael Jordan, boats, action all the best basketball for Augustine with Dan and Dave Reebok was looking to promote their new cross trainer to the masses, a shoe designed for use across multiple sports and work at the greatest athlete at the time was Bo Jackson. Any play sports boats. Everything make his campaign went, but the truth was Dan and Dave were more equipped to back that claim. So when I look at both Jackson, he's a great baseball player he's a grateful ballplayer. But you know what I thought
the girls greatest athlete, because I could do tenements and that thought played right into the case. Reebok was trying to make. As they rode out more and more adds after the Superbowl. Rules greatest certainly due to talk to you about Reeboks New running cross trainer growth rate is sadly a doctor. Excuse me, Reebok, asked me to talk about the new running cross, train or a non commercial. My The boldness of re back to come out with two people was real incredible cross the official shoe of the world's greatest doubtfully, my name Steve Miller and at the time of day, Dave. I will the head of a? U S, porch marketing for Nike and would be in very aware of the fact that Reebok was onto something very special. What you're looking or is the consumer? Is somebody who does something that you can't do or something you aspire to do, or something who inspires you and dad and Dave
caught the eye in the ear of consumers throughout the country, and the commercial and revised it an upgraded it you, you became more affectionate towards them Joe and revised it an upgraded it you became more affectionate towards the two ethics and so people pick their favorites, Desmond, Dave's, mom day dance, dentist, Dave's, mailman, dance, Girlfriend Dan Dave's, wife, dance excursion to be settled in Barcelona: Reebok had a hit on their hands. I remember being in meetings and Reebok was just talking, we're going to compete with Nike we're. Finally, getting their reebok had filmed dozens of commercial to air.
During the spring and while Dana Dave had already known each other's rivals, the filming brought them closer together as friends, We were competing against each other than to be better actors, but we're both not very good think we both kind of new that- and there was Give downtime to bond on the set that couldn't believe. Four thirty, commercial, its setting up cameras and all kinds of stuff. They would take two days of twelve hours day, shooting he just sit around to shoot. Third, seconds. Finally, they call for you and you, You do an hour's worth the work David. I looked at each other couple times and I was analysis. We said were wasted tags, where's, Reebok, my late February and indeed run function. Then they were giving joint press conferences day in and day we're being profile on local morning tv David, I got to shoot a commercial with Sinbad. The comedian
he was the most incredible guy because he was so chill off camera, but then, when the lights are on, tee went crazy. Everybody absent that within a day, if we're playing basketball the day- and I get the end of the day. My stomach hurt because I was laughing so hard and Sinbad was maybe the worst athlete I had ever seen her. I was one of the top five sports celebrity figures in the: U Dot S, everybody knew who Dan and Dave was a member we just got. What do we do? This. Women athletes. Life is pretty simple. You get up betraying yet you you go to bed and you just repeat that cycle. Each and every day When the data Dave campaign was going on in my life got complicated I couldn't go anywhere then there is nothing I couldn't I'd, go to them and outhouse and come out knows a camera there too,
see if I wash my hands. I guess that's what I wasn't prepared for its is to understand that you know what I just wasn't another face in the crowd. It got to a point where I told her matters. We can't do this anymore. We just stopped appearances. We've got to get this thing going. I mean I've got like four months up until the trial's the trials, the first Dan and Dave ads, are at the super bowl in January of nineteen. Ninety two the Olympics, were in Barcelona in July. Mars when Reebok approached Dave and I the first, thing both of us said was. You know neither one of us around the steam. Yet we I have to go through the olympic trials.
How do I welcome to New Orleans and the? U S olympic track and field trials today, already doubly nineteen Andy to the United States, olympic track and field trials were held at TAT warmly stadium in New Orleans. The last week of June, I arrived in New Orleans and I think the first thing that I noticed as soon as I got off the plane was: it was hot. They hate blistering, for ninety with ninety nine percent humanity, or something like that who live nothing ever experienced before everywhere you went down again. Dan and day dandy, All eyes are on who is going. Represent the United States and who will go on and when the government, the pressure a little bit for me with Reebok and the money they too better make this olympic team was in my mind, because everybody's wanting to knows better. We gotta
who, in Barcelona the commercial. Meanwhile, The trials were reeboks last big marketing events before Barcelona and the company took full advantage I noticed everybody was wearing these White T, shirts and hats that either had an or Dave on it. They either had a red, Dan and Blue Dave's, and when you get into the stadium everybody's wherein the teachers It was almost like somebody drop them from a helicopter to all. People in the stands at least half the people in the stands were wearing these white tee shirts. On the top three, The in the New Orleans, the Catholic, would qualify for the Olympics and the first day of Saturday went according to script, Dan and Dave. Both racking up tons of points Dave as usual, with solid Dan. The reigning world champion shot into first place, some It was telling me that I was ahead of world record pay, so that made me feel pretty good
and was on fire. If there were any concerns, for either of them. It was a lingering foot, injury for Dave, but he was the best second day, decathlete of all time and the headlines leading into Sunday were all about whether or not he could catch up to his our travel. They have dominated the airwaves now their battle really begins Dan O Brien and they Johnson, who will win that a Catholic over the first two events of the second day hurdles and Discus Dave, started to close the gap and then sure enough. We ve got to the pool. A pull out the most stressful time. I think for a decathlete. Further. Coaches is the start of the pull out the cap on any cultural terrier. That's where they are the most worried in the polls. Competitors Ain, T clear, increasing heights one by one, the higher the bar, the more points received. Each falter gets three attempts on a given height
and each can choose whatever height they like to start at, but if they fail to clear the bar at the first height, they get no points. To start earning relatively high points immediately, Dan and It made the same aggressive choice to begin their vault at fifteen feet, nine inches. The higher vultures it takes a while to get to your turned vault at your starting height. So you warm up and they might be if you other warm us, but it's never enough, it's the eighth event. You're feeling your legs a little bit and the sun, was really starting to get hot while we're sitting around the cameras or in our faces their followings. Wherever we go, and I remember just thinking how distracting that was well by the time the warm ups ended It was almost too solid hours till I took my first job. At first. I remember that
and so I made my first height and had no problem with it other than but was still getting more and more sore, sat down and battling the heat again and Emerson has first step at that same height in a one, they call my name. I cannot. Look down the runway kind of assess the wind look over the code. She gives me thumbs up. All I remember is put my hands up way too late, and so literally I just went straight up and straight down with hardly any bend in the pool looks like he'd never vaulted before it is something we weigh wrong than than I had ever seen. Him have and so on. My next attempt I make all the adjustments. Come down the runway good, take off good plant, I feel, like I'm way over the bar I come down on it slightly in the bar falls off.
And then I started to think like no I'm on a third attempt. You don't wanna, be a third attempt, at an opening bar olympic trials, this height, it's already- has lost, maybe all chance he had been on a world record pace and now risking not even qualifying for the team. That's what I said What is going on here- an interim Canada. There is kind of a by it in the stands, wasn't as much dandy, dandy. You can see the crowd begin, stir a little bit other, Athletes sit up and they look over your direction, who runs to Missis is opening bars as opener, or did you make one? No, I thought I make one then the here, the p talking in the crowd as well psych nano he made. What I saw I make one about an hour ago. I was a warmer
third attempt he might have taken up a little run and then stopped and went back tat any goes down the runway and stocks. That was not soon. As I start my run on the third attempt, I get a big gust of wind from the right, and so I stopped he just didn't look cause he's not on a tv doesn't make us hide, and he knows it and it's going through his mind, I just tell myself settled down, just relax, just relax, and so I get back there and I take off and down the runway. I go. There's a look on his face like I'm just going to, A mature I make it and I feel pretty good. I plant the pull the next thing. You know I'm stalled out on the top and I'm looking at the bar and I think, get over it somehow and again, not even close. Now he went on. I come crashing down to the pit.
And I'm just in two days What happens when we were not what happened in it in, and at that moment you just. I wanted to turn to somebody insane help me. It was almost if the sun, all that heat, that it became cloudy any became dark Because he knew something bad happened, I blue, a chance to go the Olympic Games I'm not on this Olympic deem it was, it was devastated I was devastated, I just tried to get away from people but there's guys with cameras, there's people, and so I cried that I didn't make the team. I cried that I let everybody down. I was kind of in a daze. Just you know
freaked out by all the thought. Never ever answer mine that then our day, we're not data limiting unaided just wasn't at fault. My main goal is to win an olympic gold medal here, and that was what my coaches and I thought all along and we were so ready for it. We're not. We were not ready to fail. Do not make this team to not win this meat. There was harder, everybody was still disbelieved there's he could hear the buzzing stands cause. I can't believe you're the best in the world, and I knew it with high to deal with dealing with all the commercials and all the hype and everything that went into it was too much to have to do with all at once.
First thing I thought about he's, got to get to him and tell me it's going to be okay, because I cared about him as a person We were Dan and Dave Singular, and ever where we went, we had to be that that that person is one those things where dang the purse situation wasn't happening. The the exact thing that what have been, what everybody wanted to see, wasn't gonna happen Suddenly I was alone, so now alone, no board, then, and day they Johnson was able to become Dave again. The real Dave, not the day, Reebok gods, Javelin Competition Nosey, beauty right here. It turns out to be an American record of two hundred and forty four feet. They places first in the overall competition we, while damn fails to qualify, they share and emotional embrace when it was over.
Dave came over and said I love you man, I love you. You're on my side is this just decided He needed a hug given them, big hug and said I so sorry that that happened, and I just I couldn't even hugging back, you know the scanner hands on my side. Is this like what the heck just happened? for the next forty eight hours. I walked around in a daze in I didn't think much about Dan and Dave people ask me, will what's Reebok Gonna do and at the time I thought I don't care, but I God doesn't real sense, then you know somebody he's getting yelled at somewhere. There's probably some yelling going on at the agency Rick sitting watching the events that afternoon on television from New York. So it's Bad situation, the agency is just crap reeboks
men at huge investment in these athletes to to pump up there, credibility and athletic world, and we ve got media to to fit, and the future of the company is kind of resting on the outcome of this, and in its now just gone to Hell. And in my head I'm gonna. We reply to be on Johnny Carson. We were planning to be sing. Saturnia live all those commercial state Corky made, made ten or fifteen commercial said the burglar play during the The games with Dantin Dave, their Steve Miller from Nike, was in New Orleans with a few my colleagues in a small section of seats in the middle of the stands, watching the drama play out sitting in the stands in watching it was you know, was like Dream come true for months, Steve and Nike had been secretly fantasizing. This exact scenario
Here we are actively openness of the big I would advocate. I dont know how to put it. I I'd like to line say: no, it didn't make a difference, but it made endeavours. Of course the truth is. We were just happened. You weren't what its neck. It was one of those moments, feel so good. You get a little light, headed the first moment in time that I can ever remember taking pleasure in somebody else's Bay, Reebok, greater of those Dan and Dave Commercial says that its huge add campaign. Isn't that yet it just needs slighter readjustment. The readjustment came form of a new series of ads embrace. The change in the Dan and Dave story. Reebok rebooted campaign on the fly. They had new it's out within forty eight hours in the coming weeks, there was an ad with Dan Coaching Dave.
That's free time about Big Dave train as today's budget, one with Eve consoling Dan you should be happy you're going to represent your country for the gold yeah. I guess I just wish you and that seem also announced a new role for Dan O Brien in Barcelona. I am going to reopen the broadcasts. Both you mean opium, bourgeois together again, you wanna hug. Now we already knew that. Ok, that, Caslon resume this morning at Olympic Stadium, American Dave Johnson expected to contend for the gold medal when you're the broadcasts booth. It's really hard not to put yourself out
on the track, your Dwight stones and the guy who might have been Johnson's tuppence competition at the Olympic Stand, o Brien It was, it was a little strange now looking down there at guys who I thought I could be Let me go metal, yes, this really too bad. He always hateful to come down to your third attempting, and maybe there were moments when I wasn't poorly complimentary today. What do I do? It looks to me, like David, just lacked enthusiasm all day long, and I just saw him struggling and I kept thinking this. Isn't the Dave Johnson that I saw spring This isn't a day Johnson that I saw at the trials and I thought Don't go is crumbling under the pressure. Dave was underperforming, but not because of the pressure, Food injury from the trials had only gotten worse republic know about it. But a few weeks before the games Dave had met with a doctor about his foot. Doktor so that she can go. You shouldn't go to the Olympics and
because it's gonna break in half an hour and wait a minute Dave Guy from the Reebok commercials and dad didn't make the team. Didn't you see somebody's gotta go. In Barcelona on a broken foot starting date. Who in ninth place Dave tufted out and finished third Dave Johnson becomes the first. U S metals than the events since Bruce General Back and nineteen. Seventy six he did is absolute best, which, phenomenal to walk away with a bronze metal even ass. He stepped up and received the bronze metal. Saw the american flag go up. I was Thinkin man had overcome, this this Dan and David Campaign and the broken in and just the career of fourteen fifteen years of training and so fortunate to be able to step down from that metals. Ceremony and go to the people that really knew me. My family, my coach and, and
people that really were there in my life. To get me to that moment day when's the bronze metal Roberts Melick, comes on what the gold from the Czech Republic, neither Dave nor I claim the title of the world's greatest athlete in Barcelona and I think it was two or three days later in USA. Today, ribaut as a big add that says, congratulations to Dave Johnson for winning the bronze metal. Thank you Dan and Dave for a year and I think from At that particular moment. Dan and Dave ended Dan and Dave was over. As an ad campaign and with Dave coming off a major injury, Dan and Dave, looked to be over as a major rivalry too but dad O Brien was already thinking about what was next.
All I could do was really think about what we down the road for me and the great thing about track and feel is you don't have to wait every four years? First, big event, I knew I was gonna get another shot the following year at a world championship, starting in the fall of nineteen to just a few weeks after the Barcelona teams and for the next few years then o Brien went on with best here of his life September. That same year I break the world record, the winter of eighteen. Ninety three, I win. The first have tat one world indoor championships outbreak the world record when U S outdoor title Eugene Oregon score over eighty. Eight hundred go on to defend my world title in Stuttgart, Germany, when a third world outdoor titled, Guttenberg Sweden, but no one cared. I remember eating lunch with Bruce Jenner and Bruce kept telling me only thing.
People are gonna. Remember is the Olympic Games and I thought to myself man the skies crazy. Doesn't always talk about. He didn't have world championships when he was a competing athlete. I get to compete at World championship Every two years but it was until later that I realized man Bruce's right, so damn o Brien set sites on the next Olympics and the church. Hence the win. A metal people would care about. But even ass, he was winning meet after Meet Dan felt he needed help because he was still, struggling with the mental side of the Catalan. I to get so nervous before I competed get. I would question. Why do this? Almost throwing up wanting to quit it? Jim Riordan, I'm a sports psychologist from Columbus, Ohio Dan,
come to doktor reared and to talk about that anxiety. He faced before every competition but Doktor Riordan suspected there was a deeper element at play: the fall out from the mist cobalt in New Orleans, What can happen? Is people come in for for treatment from trauma And the first thing the therapist wants to talk about is the trauma and the law ass thing, the person wants to talk about is the trauma made the decision pretty early on. If he brings it up and wants to talk about it we'll talk about, but if he doesn't, then we want because He'll know when the time will be right, and so we didn't for almost three years the pull out Miss didn't come up. They talked about other parts of the Catholic on their personal lives. The real but never New Orleans. Until one day in August, nineteen- ninety five three hundred
seven days until the next olympic trials we were having this conversation and he can. Started out by by saying caution what last it was weird I had a dream about to pull vault from ninety ninety two. He said I haven't thought about that in years, I'm thinking to myself, I guess this is this. Is the moment over the coming months rear decided that he had to take a big aggressive step Dan had to watch footage of his failure. Somebody got me a copy of it and had a couple of back. In those days, dvds mean a kind of caught him off guard and I said I got somethin. I want you to look at and we watched it.
He's watching it and I'm watching him. It was ghastly. It brought back all the feelings that I had ninety ninety two I remembered see- the White Tee shirts, Danner Dave, T shirts and the crowd I remember what side of the field I was on and how hard it was. Oh, my gosh, it was hot. And I remember king to myself wholly mackerel. We lived a whore. Of missing on a third attempt. and coming down landing on the pit and just being in a please days and it was absolutely ghastly to go you think it he said- look at this and I said: ok and then I replied, the video continued to roll. It showed Dave come over to hug me. I couldn't
I couldn't, I didn't even know what to say afterwards, and I said what do you think he said. I don't want to look at this and I said okay and that I replayed it and I said where you think thinking he said. I said I feel like I throwing up, and I said I, you know what I would much rather have you feel like that in a hotel room in truly Vista in December, on the runway in Atlanta in June. I wanted him to get to the point he would have seen that video so many times that he would just get pissed off when you think about and develop the mindset that pressure is nothing. Pressure, is gonna, bring out the best in me. Its trials double hatted today, folks, from online bog masters, we have competition from Bracken field here at the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta and from India trials for them.
One ninety six Olympics were held in Atlanta, which would be the sight of games themselves later that summer and once again that the cap on competition feature too familiar faces Dan, O, Brien and Dave. Johnson, but no one was talking about Dan and Dave and ninety ninety six, no Reebok campaign Fact Dan was a Nike athlete by this point and Dave was living the tip. Go battle of the injured athlete one prom. Piling up on top of another these two, those were not about who would be the world's greatest athlete Dan or Dave. The story lie. Was all done, o Brien Tom. I would say one thousand nine hundred and ninety two olympic trials debacle by Dan O'Brien, is a part of track and field lore and legend. At this point, I think I was nervous going into the ninety six trials. I'll be honest with you, I can remember, picking up the morning that the Catholic started, I put my head in my wife's lap and just sobbed.
Because I was nervous and I was scared you know, but I needed to get that out. I think everything Kathy who compete now is affected by his no hide in the pole vault or years ago. I would submit that this will be the hardest track meet the Dan O'Brien will ever compete it even if Dan had felt like you put one thousand nine hundred and ninety two behind him, the organizers in Atlanta, wouldn't let him shake it so easily. Ever forget. As I walked out, to run the hundred meters, the start of the very first day at the Atlanta Olympic trials. I look up at the big screen on the north the sight of the field and their showing my failure in the pool bob when I saw that footage I was passed on. I don't even know to this day whose idea was it really didn't upset me that I saw the video I can almost chuckled I laughed at all because of the training the damage done, because just nothing
I was ready. Proving he was ready, damn got off to a great start going into day too. He was in second place and he'd remain there through the hurdles and the disks address Savona, but of the complete next, the dreaded pole vault. What must be going through his mind, I get a little nervous and you know just I'm tired of sitting around twenty minutes has gone by maybe a half hours since I took my last warm up. Jump Dan was cooling off and just like a nineteen any too he was losing his rhythm, so he made a last minute decision to change a strategy to bars before I'm supposed to come in. I get a little agency and I walked over to my coach Rick's lowered, and I said What do you think about me coming into the next bar the embassy scheduled bar lower than I was supposed to command and he's the site
You feel good governance. Do it I didn't tell anybody else. Looked at my coach and all of a sudden. I took my sweats off and step up to the runway and they say oh Brian up, and I think that surprised, even my competitors at the time tat, they made one intelligent decision, they're starting at a height one foot below what Dan started four years ago and every one of the stadium holding their collective breath I'm on the runway? I got my starter pole
we even think about missing just thinking? Oh I'm here to bald head down the runway and think to myself. Look I'm probably not as warmed up as they should be. I push a little harder than then I have been a normally would on a first attempt job as I take off the ground. My top hands slips about an inch, and I regret real quick swing up go over the bar and I got a first attempt. Shreds gonna like having a lottery and by virtue and at first attempt, make a momentum Here is the sweet irony for O Brien looks like an o. Brien is going to gain the lead in the Catalan because of performance here and the poor in the event that was his undoing four years ago now. Also a few hours later damage finished First in the trials the Catholic contrast, the four usually nineteen. Ninety two had been Dave Johnson watching damned struggle
this time the rolls were reversed, the placing sixth and pretty much new it. That was my retirements after that a bed after that trials in it, I just remember just being able to encourage dance to go on and landed and represent the United States. That's like me, are you Daniel Brain was world champion record for exercise the demons of new, and now the only job left to do was to win the gold six weeks later. The trouble is when you ve won everything, except with he'll limpid Gold medal. And you feel like it's the last thing on your list. It's not as exciting as it could be. It was
I was trying to just not make mistakes Atlanta Olympic Stadium WAR, that a catholic competition continue today and for a report on day to another caslon. Let's go to divide stones in Atlanta, This quest to finally settle that question. Who is the world's Greatest athlete that had first been asked for you this earlier, then o Brien First day of competition, went off without a hitch, As prepared as I was for the Olympic Games Sometimes what you're not prepared for is what other people are going to do this, crazy, young guy from Germany, Frank, boosts this young kid. He had personal best after personal best, he he was gone crazy, so this new stage Dan suddenly had a new rival, Bozeman the
men was right on his heels through day, one through the pull vault and right up to the De Catholics. Final two events javelin and the fifteen hundred. Meters erase it had never been Dan strongest. I need a big led before the fifteen hundred meters and when I got to the job- and I didn't have as big a leaders- I would have liked you to close for comfort. Let's head back to the track, the two data That's like, including tonight, with a report on how the kind so, as I got into the javelin, it was the twilight of the night. The Olympic Stadium was passed, with hometown american fans. Rooting on Dan and a noisy contingent of Germans, rooting on Bozeman each of the competitors selected a javelin and took their first through Dan's. First attempt was disappointing, but he tried to stay calm. Scanning the crowd ass. He waited his next turn. I look over and see a guy in an Red
Blue Jersey, USA, Jersey, an estate Johnson, got his Opel is on the back of his head backwards, like he always used to wear them and down in the front row. You know, just kind of hanging David. Standing with the- U S, coaches quietly, but with his coaches on the sidelines with day. He was noticing stand through his first throw. I think tell the job any was throwing wasn't flying exactly as well. Should be for his type of throwing after the second through another disappointing Daniel over to consult with his coaches on the sidelines, with Dave standing right nearby. We had that eye contact and I say to Dave which javelin should I use you, gotta choose from out there, I had him got the javelin that I knew would. Really well, because I've done its job. Is this my best event Dave said the ninety meter, Nemeth name,
and I knew exactly which was talking about, and I said all right. Something about him being there to put me at ease. It was just Refreshing to my soul, I just felt good that he, It's gonna, be there to witness my greatest moment, I stepped up to the line for his third row, needs a person for the one thousand five hundred the unleashed a five and a half personal best, and maybe maybe. In my mind, I might have stepped out of myself and went out into his body a little bit. Got to be Dan fur. For about twenty seconds and in helping throw that thing, never spoken. Dental Brian
through farther than Frank boosts men, so I didn't give up any points. I didn't give up any ground. This is what it's all about. Ryan. Is I'm gonna win over the girl? Now, when Dan Wanna go man in ninety six hours, just glad came forth cycle for him being able to go through a stick, not give up on this point, and it was great sea and finding being on the champ. Aren't you would be tough to talk about data Dave if I hadn't come back and ninety six and one, but I think, failing in ninety ninety two gave me an opportunity to rewrite the narrative I had to change people's minds every time I stepped out of the trap people when they think of damage due to remember something went wrong. Reebok they had this big campaign of Ebola, we're gonna be at the Olympic and then only one of us went so was a failure, because that is the reality of the situation. Is the campaign was a huge success. They saw more shoes of that particular running, crossed her shoe than any other shoe throughout the year and a half that promoting that whole year was such a such a great experience, except for two hours. On the second day in the eighth than ever to gather I meet people who say I remember where I was when you didn't make that third attempt- and they have they have where were they stories dandled right and I think that's just in our human nature. We are just programme to remember the bad times a little bit better than the good times. People remember the field. All that was missed. People remember the free throws that the guy didn't mean nothing prepares your first, you know really having your dream just kind of slip out from underneath you, but a personality. A great performance can change in attitudes, life.
To be settled in Barcelona. The trials of Dan and Dave was hosted in produced by Jody ever again, with reporting by Andrew Mobile, sound design and originals goin by Ryan Rossman Julia Lowry, Henderson rose Evelyn, Taylor Garfield in Cape Mccall of or the other producers at thirty, four thirty pancakes find the series on Apple podcast or at thirty, for them I guess not come the first this five documentaries. The latest wonders came out this week, is a story about a huge casino caper, with the world's most famous poker player in his mysterious accomplice. When millions of dollars using a flaw in the design of certain playing cards check, it out
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.