“Success is a state of mind, and if you can find a way to persevere and look beyond your current roadblock, you can thrive in the midst of any storm. It's not about what happens to you, it’s about what you do next. Oftentimes we need a reminder of that from someone with a different perspective. It’s been tough, but I've always found a way to persevere through the darkness. This mindset is what has gotten me where I am today”- Akeem Haynes

Akeem Haynes

Olympic Bronze Medalist - Resiliency Expert

Born in Savlamar, Jamaica, Akeem Haynes didn’t have much of an advantage from the beginning. With limited options and tragic events happening early in life, he moved to Canada with his mother seeking a better life. However, they fell into tough times, and struggled to find stability. In a span of five months they moved seven different times and eventually found themselves homeless in the middle of winter when Akeem was 13 years old.

Down but not out, with the help of some friends, they were able to get back on their feet. Akeem Haynes became involved in sports, mainly football and track and field. Akeem excelled both on the field and on the track and won many different awards. In the 11th grade, he started to gain offers from Division I schools in the United States. Nevertheless, Akeem’s path to becoming a NCAA Division I student-athlete was not smooth. After taking the S.A.T three times and the A.C.T. once, Akeem Haynes failed to get the scores he needed. In hindsight, none of this mattered. Akeem was ruled automatically ineligible due to a NCAA violation with his ninth-grade math class.

You would think all of this adversity on top of having multiple learning disabilities would’ve stopped Akeem from furthering his education. But quitting has never been an option for Akeem. He attended Barton Community College in the fall of 2010. Two years later he would go on to make his first Canadian Olympic Team and earn All-American honors, becoming a national champion and earning a full athletic scholarship to The University of Alabama.

Akeem Haynes eventually went on to become the first in his immediate family to graduate from college on top of becoming a Division I Track and Field All-American. Through perseverance, a resilient mindset and a stubborn attitude to succeed, Akeem has become a 2x Olympian (2012 & 2016), helping Canada bring home an Olympic Bronze Medal at the Rio Olympic Games.

With his smooth tone, calm demeanor, and ability to paint a transparent picture with his words, there isn’t a room Akeem Haynes has walked into and not left a lasting impact on the audience by resonating with their hearts. His self-help books entitled Love, Life & Legacy and Fear, Faith & Fruition are in various schools and bookstores across Canada.

Accomplishments

  • 2x Olympian (2012, 2016)
  • Olympic Bronze Medalist (2016)
  • 2017 Legacy Award Winner
  • 2017 Recipient of the Athletes in Excellence Award
  • 3rd fastest Canadian ever to 60m (6.51)
  • Canadian Record Holder in the men’s 4x100m Relay
  • Founder of the faith over fear foundation
  • Awarded the key to the city of Yellowknife in 2016

Topic Presentations

A presentation based on motivation, Perseverance, Leadership & Believing in yourself when no one else does. Once homeless, Akeem tells the story of how he overcame tremendous adversity and setbacks to get to where he is today. Akeem lived in poverty for most of his childhood with a single parent, often not knowing when the next meal would come. His family immigrated to Canada from Jamaica, and raised in Yellowknife and Calgary, Akeem grew up quickly and embraced being the man of his household. He had to adjust to Canadian culture quickly, often dealing with racism and exclusion, while continuously having to prove himself. He uses his story to offer the audience inspiration on how to develop and maintain a positive attitude no matter what is going on in their lives. He shows the audience that it was only when he started going outside his comfort zone and faced his fears head on was when he was able to build the foundation for his success. Akeem Haynes' presentation explores perseverance, faith over fear and gratitude for every good and bad experience one goes through.

Akeem faced many challenges throughout his personal and sporting life before he represented Canada at the 2016 Summer Games. He was constantly set back by different institutions, coaches and himself. Akeem offers the audience his story of how to deal with set backs, how to let go of the past and to keep focused on your vision. He offers insight into mental resiliency, how to manage opportunity and to calculate the right decision. Akeem shows audience members how to deal with loss/failure and turn it into motivation. Akeem believes that the importance of positive thinking and postive self talk is the key to having confidence which then brings success.

Akeem has dealt with a lot of pain and setbacks in his life, there are two types of pain this this world. Pain that makes you bitter, and pain that makes you better. The number one thing is that we trust ourselves and have faith in who we are and what we want to accomplish and that we surround ourselves with those who support our dreams. His story on his early career and life to become an Olympian, offers audiences a personable story of overcoming all odds to become a who he is today.

Being one of Calgary’s and Alberta’s most decorated duel sport athletes, Akeem earned a full athletic scholarship to The University of Alabama. While the student athlete lifestyle might seem glamourous, it taught him how to be productive and manage his time while getting optimal results. Akeem teaches us that time management, positive habit forming, the power of positive self talk and holding ourselves accountable all play a strong role in being productive. The results of being productive are impacted by one's discipline to keep focused on small/daily goals, that build you closer to the vision of where you want to be. Akeem helps focus how to put the right amount of effort into our work, our lives, our loved ones and ourselves.

If you truly want to make a change in your life, you first have to accept complete ownership. We are the one constant in our problems and solutions. Akeem’s speech will give you perspective how to grow and development from within yourself and how to deal with internal and external challenges. Akeem shows us the importance of values and maintaining loyalty to our beliefs so that we can more easily deal with change and challenging situations. He shows the importance of building relationships with those who are like minded so that we can master ourselves and control our destiny. This allows us to better handle change and to adapt ourselves to become whoever we need to be in order to accomplish our goals. Akeem's presentation explores how it is adapting to challenges where we can grow the most, therefore making challenging situations an opportunity rather than a struggle. Being different is never a bad thing as long as you deal with it in a positive way. Akeem teaches us the power of positivity, strategies for dealing with change and how to put it all together for success.

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Language Spoken

English

Travels From

Calgary, Alberta

Love, Life & Legacy

Love, Life & Legacy breaks life down into three different categories. It discusses how to deal with any type of relationship, including the ones we need to let go. And it also dives into how Akeem has dealt with his own life struggles.

Fear, Faith & Fruition

Akeem’s second book travels deep into the battles we all fight with ourselves. It dives into the key points for digging yourself out of a rut and using your pain to lift you up instead of playing the victim. Developing the right mindset to handle whatever life throws your way is a major component of this book as well.

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