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Jim Craig's Support for Boston Marathon has been 'Heaven Sent' for Dr. Kendall Boone!

Jim Craig's Support for Boston Marathon has been 'Heaven Sent' for Dr. Kendall Boone!Jim Craig was the goalie for the 1980 Olympic hockey team that beat Russia and won the gold medal. I met Jim at a meeting to raise awareness for screening for the silent but potentially deadly disease of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). This is a disease that I treat as a Vascular Surgeon in Rockford, Illinois and a disease that sadly took the life of Jim's father. Jim was the guest speaker and did an awesome job of motivating primary care physicians to do screening ultrasounds on their patients to look for AAAs. It was a very successful meeting with a very good turn out and I truly believe that future lives will be saved because of that effort. During the dinner portion of the meeting, my wife and I got the pleasure of sitting next to Jim. By the end of the dinner conversation, we had shared pictures of our families and felt like we had become good friends! One of the pictures he was flipping through on his phone was a young adult standing upright in a specialized motorized wheelchair. Jim explained that earlier that day he had been at a meeting to help get these devices approved by medical insurance. As a father of a son who is Autistic and has some severe learning disabilities, I was touched by his heart for that cause. I told Jim about my son Nils and that I was president of a board for adults with special needs called Barbara Olson Center of Hope. I asked Jim if he would ever consider coming back to Rockford to be a guest speaker for the Center. Of course, he said yes. That day came a few months ago. We packed a convention center and energized a very hockey savvy crowd with Jim’s life story. Jim generously donated signed Olympic jerseys and personalized signed pictures which netted the center over $12,000! It was one of the best highlights of the Center’s 70 years in existence!

If these gifts of Jim’s time and effort to causes near to my heart were not enough, there was more to come.

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Unique Opportunities Available If You Book Now!

Unique Opportunities Available If You Book Now!We are booking up fast for this year! When booking Jim Craig you have the opportunity to really get your team involved with special pricing on corporate gifting. Please inquire at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your chance to bring your team to the next level!

People are already talking this year!

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Jim Craig’s Last Mentor Craig Patrick

Craig PatrickThe mentor series was created so that our audience could relate to my personal stories and experiences and challenge themselves to become better mentors. To make them stop and think about the important people in their life that have contributed to any success that they have had. Most importantly, to think of what they could do in order to sacrifice for their legacy. A lot of the time when people have success, we tend to forget that we could not have accomplished anything if it was not for the sacrifices, love, and support of those around us. This month’s mentor is Craig Patrick. He is someone that I have always looked up to and was really the first person that taught me what it took to be a true professional in all spectrums of life.

Growing up in a small town south of Boston I was pretty sheltered, especially from the hockey world. My dream was to play in the Olympics and then go on to play in the NHL. I was a small town boy with a big time dream, knowing that the odds were stacked against me. I started practicing my autograph in the third grade and would tell my family that one day I would make it. I was just a kid playing pond hockey with my brothers enjoying the sport itself (people forget how important this is sometimes) and the love of the game. Believe it or not, I never knew about the Bean Pot until I was at Boston University playing in it. I never had heard of Herb Brooks or Craig Patrick. I did not take into consideration the places I would go and the people I would meet before I could come close to reaching any of my dreams. I was pushed mentally and physically in ways that I did not think was possible, by people who pulled greatness out of me and who inspired me. I can confidentially say that if I did not have the gift of Craig Patrick’s mentorship, I would not have been able to compete and be the player Herb Brooks thought I was in 1980.

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It All Starts With a Dream

It All Starts With a DreamFor those of you who don’t get our emails, last month I did my mentors series on Warren Strelow. He was our goalie coach for the 1980 team and really challenged me to perform to the best of my ability. He is someone that I have always looked up to and I miss him everyday. His family recently shared this letter with me that I thought I would share. Sometimes people get afraid of asking for help or failing. But failing is not fatal, being afraid to fail is. You need to know that you have people that support you and would do anything in order for you to achieve your dreams. Don’t be intimidated by the impossibility, be motivated by the possibility and BELIEVE in yourself. Text GOLDMEDAL to 22828 to subscribe if you haven’t already!

For those of you who are having trouble reading my handwriting:
“July 9th, 1979

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Jim Craig's 1980 Mentor Warren Strelow

Jim Craig's 1980 Mentor Warren StrelowWhen you ask someone who competed as an athlete to describe a mentor, a coach is typically among the first responses. There are many different types of coaches in the world, some great and some bad, but a coach almost always leaves some kind of imprint on each athlete they work with. As a lifelong hockey player who was fortunate to achieve and play at the highest level for a period of time, I could not have reached my potential without the dedication and hard work of a number of my coaches along the way. Now, the logical jumping point right now for many readers would be to think of Herb Brooks alone as the single coach responsible for the 1980 Miracle on Ice team. Of course, Herb deserves all of the credit he receives as the architect and the mastermind behind our success in 1980. But perhaps the most important principle that Herb Brooks brought to U.S.A. Hockey prior to 1980 was that it was about finding the RIGHT team, not the "best one." That obviously included all of the players whom he picked to represent our country at the Olympics, but just as integral were the coaches Herb assembled to lead us at his side. This Mentor Series will highlight someone on the coaching staff who often served as the glue to keep us together, especially myself, as we pushed ourselves towards a shared dream. This month's Mentor Series will focus on the goalie coach who helped shape me into the best goalie I could be, Warren Strelow.

When I met Warren Strelow for the first time, we almost instantly clicked because it was evident that we were both genuine students of the game. What impressed me the most about Coach Strelow was the depth of knowledge that he not only had about goaltending but also about my game as a goaltender. A pitfall for many coaches is the desire focus on molding athletes into what the coach wants them to be, rather than molding them into the best version of them that the athlete can be. Warren Strelow predicated his coaching on that notion of understanding each of his goalies' respective games and then working on drills and techniques that enhanced the best aspects of our game. Of course, that isn't to say that we only worked on what we were good at and neglected any weaknesses. The overall point, though, is that I was an athletic and instinctive goaltender by nature, so Coach Strelow used drills that helped me to be more athletic in the crease rather than to become mechanical. I became the best goaltender I could be because we worked hard to make my strengths stronger while also improving some weaknesses. I owe Warren Strelow and his coaching style an immense amount for preparing me to fight off the barrage of shots from the Soviet team enough so that our offense could win the game down at the other end.

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