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He beat the odds to become an Olympian and professional wrestler. Then, indulgent life choices beat up on Chip Minton and he ended up a broken man in an $18 a night hotel room.

“I was a lost person, and it was then that I made a prayer and asked Jesus to come into my life,” Minton told a group of children and adults who recently came to hear him talk at the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s Youth Development Center.

Now a motivational speaker with Sports World Ministries, Minton outlined how – as a youngster – he’d risen above friends’ doubts and skepticism to reach his childhood dream of becoming an Olympic bobsledder.

He achieved his goals by never giving up, and used an allegory of two boys out on the ice.

When one fell in and was trapped under the ice, his buddy didn’t know what to do, but eventually used a tree branch to smash a hole in the ice to save him.

When the story began to circulate, and people marveled at the boy’s ingenuity, an elderly local resident summed up why the boy had succeeded.

“It’s because there was nobody there to tell him that he couldn’t do it,” Minton said, echoing the old man’s words.

Turning back to his early addictions, Minton exhorted the youngsters never to fall prey to drugs or alcohol, but instead to have faith and belief in the scriptures as motivation.

“And make sure you hang around dream makers,” he said.

As if on cue, a few members of the local Shima Dojo Karate School under Nick Lemke gave an impromptu demonstration of some moves.

The school, incidentally, is still basking in the afterglow of three of its members bringing back a gold and four bronze medals from the recent 58th All Hawaii Karate Championships. It was an international event.

To close out his inspired and rapid-fire talk, Minton demonstrated strength and determination by wrapping up a store-bought frying pan “like a burrito,” as he had promised earlier.

Also at the talk was a contingent of representatives from Sports World Ministries, including NFL players Jimmie Bell, Steve Grant and Michael Cobb, and Rushia Brown, WNBA, all motivational speakers as well.

For more information on the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s wide variety of programs for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or acquire the app. Otherwise, call 394-3144.

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