What defines a champion?

As defined by Oxford’s English Dictionary, a champion is “a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition, especially in sports.”
Wikipedia states that, “A champion is the victor in a challenge, contest or competition.”
Champions are often celebrated solely for their achievements on the podium, disregarding the hours of commitment, sacrifices, perseverance through challenges, and determination that culminate in their victorious moment. We believe that true champions are identified through acknowledging their journey. Success is subjective and based on our values. This highlights a common trait we see in champions – their unwavering commitment to persist. This demands a great focus not only on their physical skills but more importantly, on their mindset.

Pro Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael, known as the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) in motocross, is a prime example of how dedication, passion, and hard work can lead to unparalleled success. Ricky is more than that – he is a son, a father, and a spouse. An important reminder that the definition of success and being a champion is measured best by our own personal criteria.

Ricky’s success has not waned since retiring from his illustrious professional racing career. Transitioning from NASCAR to hosting live shows on Peacock for Supercross and outdoor racing, he persists with a mindset of always striving for more accomplishments, never halting until he crosses every finish line he sets out to achieve.

In 2020, we had the privilege of hosting Ricky as a guest in an On Track live webinar. Our audience, primarily young aspiring athletes, had the chance to listen, learn, and engage by asking questions. To our surprise, a professional motocross champion and On Track graduate Jeff Emig inquired about Ricky’s graduation plans.

Some may ask, why would it be necessary for someone like Ricky with an abundance of opportunities and his legendary success to, “go back to school?” What kind of person would intentionally subject themselves to that? Especially one who isn’t “hurting for a job” per se.

Truth be told, the amount of professional athletes who have not graduated high school due to the demands that are involved with the commitment required to become one of the 1% of successful athletes is much higher than you’d think. Twenty years ago, while we were traveling from race to race it was this realization that could not be unseen and On Track school became the solution.  (you can learn more about our story here). 

As for Ricky –

We would later learn that he had made a very admirable promise to his two children. The promise was that he would graduate before they did. He joked, how could he hold them accountable for their academics and the importance of education without a diploma of his own? Also adding, that this had always been something he wanted to complete. He remarked, "I tell my kids all the time, education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you." Aligning with his mindset, in which he never halts until crossing every finish line, his commitment was tangible. Ricky, set a goal to hold himself accountable. He wanted to receive his diploma at the RCSX winners circle at the Daytona Speedway.

To no surprise, on March 5th 2023 in a victorious moment of his own he crossed this finish line adding as he says, “another feather to his cap” with honors!

On Track Student Group photo at RCSX 2023

While the definition of a champion remains unique to each of us. We strongly believe it is the commitment, dedication, accountability and discipline that embodies and differentiates the victor to the legendary champion, or shall we say the G.O.A.T. Ricky Carmichael!

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to Ricky Carmichael and Jeff Emig for mentoring young racers and emphasizing the value of education. Stay tuned as we prepare to welcome Rick Johnson to the list of graduates who continue to highlight the significance of education, a valuable asset that shapes your future opportunities. Special thanks to Davey Coombs at Racer X for featuring our story in depth HERE.

High School Diploma vs GED

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top