Lee Kemp | Author, Keynote Speaker & Overcoming Adversity Expert

Born Darnell Freemen, enduring difficulties early in life, given up at birth by a 17-year-old mother, already with a 2-year-old, and spending the first 5 years of his life in two foster homes, before being raised on a farm by his adoptive parents and renamed after his father. Having gone through the devastation of the United States boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games, the separation from his three young children, for over 4 years, from a contentious and unrelenting divorce in 2007, and the 2008 downturn of the auto industry causing the loss of his successful business of over 14 years, were three of the worst "game changing" and "nightmarish" events imaginable. Lee Kemp has experienced adversity which makes him a compassionate and sensitive motivational speaker, bringing his unique story of loss, courage, and success through his life experiences to his audiences who will be left inspired, motivated and empowered. The following is a quote from a recent speaking engagement: “Leaders, as well as winners, are a rare breed. The ability to communicate what it takes to be a leader and a winner is also a rare talent. Lee is a member of both exclusive clubs.” Alternatively stated, he has been there and done that in the field of excellence both as a wrestler and as a motivational speaker. SPEAKER: Lee Kemp is a keynote speaker, educator, author and seminar presenter who has spoken in athletic and non-athletic settings in the US as well as internationally. Known as one of the greatest wrestlers in United States history. Lee coached the US Olympic team to victory in Beijing (2008). Lee was an Olympian (1980), 3x World Champion (1978, 1979, 1982), one of five Americans inducted to the International Wrestling Hall of Fame (inducted at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing). He has been featured three times in Sports Illustrated Magazine (February 1977, April 1982, May 1982). Life Magazine featured Lee in their "1984 Olympic Preview" issue along with Michael Jordan, Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses and Greg Louganis. Lee is an entrepreneur with an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the subject of a film documentary on his life scheduled for release in summer of 2018. His athletic, academic and business background, as well as his broadcast experience as a frequent, on-air commentator, for ESPN and other cable networks provides a level of exposure, experience and knowledge that keeps Lee in demand and makes him one of the most sought after speakers. Lee's mental toughness, discipline and winning consistency as an athlete are unique and unparalleled. He provides his audience with a rare opportunity to tap into the mind of a world champion. CONTACT LEE AND HIS TEAM TODAY TO CHECK HIS AVAILABILITY TO SPEAK AT YOUR NEXT EVENT.


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4 Reviews
Shawn Fields, Former Chairperson, Team GA Wrestling
His speech was very motivating...

I had the distinct pleasure of listening to Lee Kemp provide the keynote speech at the 2008 Georgia State Champions banquet, and annual gathering of all Georgia state wrestling champions. As you might expect, Lee’s background in wrestling gave him a unique perspective regarding his target audience, and his wrestling accolades gave him instant credibility. Additionally, Lee’s delivery was clear, concise, and he was able to grab the attention of his audience, and successfully hold it over the course of his speech. His speech was very motivating, both from a wrestling a personal perspective, and several of the audience members came up to me afterward and remarked to me how much they enjoyed Lee’s speech. I would wholeheartedly recommend Lee for any speaking engagements, and hope that I have the occasion to engage him again.

January 2018

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Larry Nugent, Director of Development, USA Wrestling (USOC NGB).
Lee Kemp is universally respected as a person and as a communicator!

When I needed a dignitary from our sport to represent us articulately and to a wide audience there was one individual that stood out. Lee Kemp is universally respected as a person and as a communicator. His record as an athlete in a sport that attracts the most competitive athletes is sterling… but his reputation as someone that understands how to motivate others in all walks of life is equally impressive. Last May, in the run up to the 2008 Olympic Trials, I chose Lee Kemp to be on a press conference panel held at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Media covering the event included the New York Times, Forbes, The Star Ledger, ESPN, CBS and others. To hear Lee Kemp speak about overcoming disappointments and challenges was inspiring. As three-time world champion, but also a victim of the 1980 U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games, Lee was not afforded the opportunity to represent America on the Olympic stage. To me that IS the definition of disappointment. Lee has a platform few others can speak to. Hearing Lee Kemp express how he was able to overcome the anger and frustration is a story that cannot be forgotten. This is just one example of a life filled with unusual circumstances. What is refreshing is that Lee assumes everyone has unusual circumstances… which they do… which is why when he speaks he is so unanimously effective. Once our Olympic Team was selected in June, USA Wrestling flew our three Olympic Teams to NYC for the Fuel the Dream media tour. There are nine coaches assigned to these three teams… but we only needed one to represent our great sport in the public eye! For two days it was a constant series of interviews and appearances. After each interaction with the media or institution (Lee rang the NYSE Closing Bell among many other things) one common theme was heard, Lee Kemp is a genuine and impressive human being!

January 2018

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Terry Shockley, President, The Shockley Group
Highly recommended as a winner!

The ability to communicate what it takes to be a leader and a winner is also a rare talent. Lee Kemp is a member of both exclusive clubs. Alternatively stated, Lee has been there and done that in the field of excellence both as a wrestler and as a motivational speaker. Lee Kemp is highly recommended as a winner.

January 2018

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