107 Derek Redmond – 4x400m Relay World Champion

It’s one of the most iconic images in the history of the Olympic games.

Derek Redmond, being helped by his father, hobbling to the finish line with a torn hamstring in the semi-finals of the 400 meters at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Derek recalls that incredible story of grit and determination in this episode of the Best in the World with Richard Parr.

One year earlier, Derek and the British relay team had won gold in the 4×400 meters, surprising the American favorites.

Derek explains how the late decision to change the order of the line-up played a crucial role in that victory.

After athletics, Derek played professional basketball and has also competed at a high level in rugby, motorcycling, and kickboxing.

Derek reveals the transferable skill from athletics that has helped him be successful in these other sports.

You can learn more about Derek at Derekredmond.com.

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111 Gigi Fernandez – 17x Grand Slam Tennis Doubles Champion

Gigi Fernandez is a 17x Grand Slam champion in doubles tennis.

She won 14 of those titles with Natasha Zvereva and the other three were with Robin White, Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna.  

On this week’s Best in the World with Richard Parr, Gigi talks about how Jana’s decision to split up their team led her to her ‘invincible’ partnership with Natasha.  

Gigi also won two Olympic gold medals alongside Mary Joe Fernandez in 1992 and 1996.  

Along with raising her children, Gigi runs doubles.tv. Identifying the lack of doubles specific tennis coaching, the Puerto Rican created this online platform to help recreational players.  

By listening to this podcast you’ll get to learn about the Gigi Method and the five most important steps any doubles players need to know to be successful.  

Gigi is helping raise funds to power Puerto Rico.

You can learn about the Viktre Challenge here.

You can also follow her on Instagram @gigifernandeztennis17 

110 Tianna Bartoletta – Long Jump & 4x100m Relay Olympic Champion

Tianna Bartoletta is the reigning Olympic Long jump champion.

She also has gold medals in the 4×100 meters relay from both the 2012 and 2016 games. 

The 2-time long jump World Champion is our guest on this episode of the Best in the World with Richard Parr. 

Tianna opens up on the podcast regarding the break up her marriage and the reason why she is most proud of the long jump bronze medal she won last year at the World Championships.

The American admits that while it is still difficult to talk about she knows she needs to so she can help others.  

Tianna talks about her time competing in bobsled and how it helped her regain her confidence in jumping.  

The Ohio native explains the added expenses she incurs on the road so that she can stay in the best shape possible to compete.

Tianna goes further by saying that events can be won in the airport before the competitors even get to the track. 

Richard and Tianna also talk a lot about her writing and her blog which you can read here. 

If you want to continue the conversation on sports performance then join our new Best in the World Facebook group   

Plus, if you want to keep listening and learning from World and Olympic Champions then please support the Best in the World with Richard Parr podcast on Patreon .


Susan Francia is a 2-time Olympic champion and a 5-time World Champion in rowing.

On this episode of the Best in the World, Richard Parr asks Susan if she felt invincible between 2006-12 with all of those achievements? 

Susan talks about how she got started in the sport and how one coach could recognize her Olympic talent right at the start.  

The American reveals which NBA star she inspired with her first gold medal in the women’s eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.   

Also on the podcast, Susan gives her advice to any sports people trying to get sponsorship.

Now a coach Susan explains what she knows now and what she looks for when she is identifying new talent.  

All that and more on this episode of the Best in the World with Richard Parr. 

You can follow Susan on Instagram @susanfrancia. 

We’re continuing our conversation on sports and high performance in our Best in the World Facebook group.

Be a part of our community here.   

If you want to support our podcast please also check our Patreon page

108 Vincent Hancock – Shooting Olympic Champion

Vincent Hancock is a 2-time Olympic Champion and a 3-time World Champion in the sport of skeet shooting.

The American also hold National, Olympic and World Records and is our guest on this episode of the Best in the World with Richard Parr.

Vincent was just 19 when he won his first Olympic title at the 2008 Beijing games. After struggling with his motivation for the sport in 2011 a year later in London he retained his Olympic title by hitting every target in the final.

Vincent explains how he did that on this podcast.

The Texas resident also opens up about his relationship with his father, he gives us a technique to get kids interested in shooting and talks about his time in the U.S. Army marksmanship unit.

You can follow Vincent’s journey on Instagram @vincenthancock.

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Do you need new high-profile guests for your podcast, YouTube channel or blog? If so, check out my 7 tips and tools to get high-profile interview guests.

105 Casey FitzRandolph – Speed skating Olympic Champion

Casey FitzRandolph is the 500 metres Olympic speed skating gold medallist from the 2002 Salt Lake City games.

The American broke the Olympic record in the process. 

Casey now works in insurance in his home state of Wisconsin helping companies manage risk.

On the Best in the World with Richard Parr podcast Casey explains whether risks are needed to become a champion in sports.

He talks about the difficulty of life after sports and what he used from his athletic career to adjust to his life in business.  

Casey talks in depth about his relationship with his father.

How his dad motivated him to win as a child and how their relationship changed when Casey began to compete at a World level. 

The American also opens up on why he decided to train with the Canadian team and the lessons he learnt with them. 

To continue to follow Casey’s journey head to Caseyfitz.com. 

We discuss even more about high-performance sport in our Best in the World Facebook group 

If you want to start listening to audiobooks you can try their service for 30 days for free here: audibletrial.com/best 

Looking to get more guests for your content? Check out Richard’s 7 tips and tools to get high-profile interview guests. https://t.co/lkI3DmIppw 

104 Tanja Frieden – Snowboard Cross Olympic Champion

Tanja Frieden was in second place in the snowboard cross final at the 2006 Turin Olympics until the leader Lindsey Jacobellis fell in the penultimate jump.

Tanja would cross the line first to complete her dream of becoming the Olympic Champion.

Tanja tells her story on this episode of the Best in the World with Richard Parr. 

Tanja is now a personal development coach for both sports and business people.

One of the methods she teaches is Logosynthesis.

Tanja explains what it is, how it helped her win her gold medal and how it can help you.  

Tanja tells Richard how her life changed when she became Olympic champion, why she had prepared differently for the 2010 Vancouver games and;

She talks about the injury she sustained that forced her to miss those Olympics. 

Having represented Norway and Switzerland, Tanja also clears up the inaccuracies on Wikipedia! 

You can learn more about Tanja at Tanjafrieden.ch 

 You can continue the discussion on sports and high performance in the Best in the World Facebook group 

Paul Gerhard is one of our fantastic patrons supporting our podcast.

You can do the same at patreon.com/bestintheworld 

Beating Depression and Winning Gold

Stefan Groothuis headed to his first Olympic games in Torino in 2006 as the Dutch speed skating national champion. But an eighth place finish in the 1000 metres wasn’t what he had hoped for. On the Best in the World with Richard Parr podcast Stefan told me that it took him years to recover from that experience. “Maybe I was over focused,” he said.

“I skated a really good opener, my best opener ever. I skated the fastest first lap of the whole field of the competition. But then I made a really big mistake at the second to last corner. I flew out and lost a lot of time and I came eighth. To be honest several weeks after this race I was literally sick because of this competition. I had to throw up almost every time I had to think back at this race.”

A year later Stefan sliced his Achilles tendon with his skate. In 2010 he was sick leading up to the Vancouver Olympics. Again there was no medal for Groothuis at those games as he finished fourth. Five years of injures, illnesses and defeats all took their toll on the speed skater.

“I was really good, I was winning World Cups and for a lot of the time I was the best in the Netherlands. But at the really important games, the World Championships and the Olympic games of Vancouver, most of the time I came fourth which was a pretty big disappointment of course. The one thing I did all of those times from 2006-2011 was ‘well I messed it up, I have to work even harder and I have to be tougher on myself,’ which I did. But mentally it was pretty hard and I had a mental breakdown in 2011. That was of course a really tough time – to lift these mental problems.”

While suffering with depression, Stefan’s wife Ester was pregnant with their first child. His coach Jac Orie constantly helped him during this time.

“My coach, he was really supportive, he was not talking to me a lot about what I was going through with this depression, but what he did was he gave me the space and the trust that I could come back and everything would be fine in the end. And that was really important because physically I was terrible that summer. We did some time trials, for example and I was crushed by the women in our team which is not a good sign for getting into the winter.”

Getting back on the ice would ultimately assist Stefan’s recovery. “One of the things that did help me was sports itself,” he said.

“A known thing about depression is getting off your chair and doing things is an important factor to recover, so I did that.”

When he returned to competing Stefan changed his attitude.

“It made me think: ‘why am I doing all of this? For who am I doing all of this?’ The one thing I did was take sports a little less seriously than what I did before. Maybe I took it a little too seriously all of those years before that.”

It began to pay off. In 2012 he took gold at the World Single Distance Championships in Heerenveen and also won at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary. This helped his third Olympic experience in Sochi.

“Everything was coming more naturally and of ease. And that made a really big difference in the way that I went through the Olympic games of 2014 in comparison to Vancouver 2010 and Torino 2006. In 2006 and 2010 there was only one option for me and that was I have to win gold. And in Sochi, I thought I’m really good, I won the national championships to qualify, I can be the best in the World, I can be Olympic champion. But the reality is there are 40 other guys trying and there are a lot of guys who are really good.”

At the age of 32, Stefan Groothuis became one of the oldest speed skating Olympic champions. With a time of 1 minute, 8.39 seconds he claimed gold in the 1000 metres, ahead of Denny Morrison of Canada and Dutch compatriot Michel Mulder. Two-time reigning champion Shani Davis was eighth.

Enjoying the Olympic experience appeared to have helped his success.

“When I went to Torino there were always some festivities around the Dutch team and I was always thinking ‘oh well I have sore legs,’ and I only wanted to be busy with my speed skating. In Vancouver it was the same. In Sochi there were some festivities, for example the Dutch King was there, and the big opening ceremony. I was really enjoying it for the first time. I thought: ‘this is the games. This is something really special. And now I’m here I’m just going to enjoy all of these festivities as well and not see them as something that is standing in my way of getting my best performance.’”

A good workman never blames his tools is a saying that doesn’t necessarily apply to speed skating. According to 2014 Olympic Champion Stefan Groothuis his skates would need a lot of work to provide the optimum performance.

“There’s a rocker underneath your skate,” Stefan began to explain on the Best in the World with Richard Parr. “The skate is not totally flat. There’s a rocker in there and that has to be really perfect and we have special equipment, measuring equipment, and the English word for it is a jig and you put it in your skate and you can work on your skate with stones to make a perfect rocker in there. I can tell you there is a lot of work to make it perfect! There’s also a band in your skate. You can imagine skating is always going anti-clockwise. There’s a little bit of a bend in the blade so the skate already turns from itself with the corner.”

“There’s a lot of fine-tuning in there in how much do you want it to go with you because if it’s going too fast or it’s going too quick in the corner that won’t work.”

“Then you have the stance of the blade underneath your shoe and there are five directions that you can put it.”

It’s not just adjusting the footwear that speed skaters have tried to innovate to help create an advantage. Leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympics the Norwegian team changed the colour of their suits from red to blue.

There hasn’t been conclusive proof that blue suits will create faster times so any advantage could be psychological.

Speaking before the games in PyeongChang, Stefan feels that when the USA team changed their suits before the last Olympics it had a detrimental effect.

“It can also work in the wrong direction. I think that’s what happened to the Americans in the Sochi 2014 games for example. The Americans were really good for the pre-season for the Sochi games. Especially the women who were winning everything. And then they came up with a really special suit two weeks before the Olympics actually started. So they only had two weeks to get used to the suits themselves. Then one or two guys had a bad race in the suit and the whole team went mentally down, it seemed like from the outside, because they were all getting into a panic: ‘This suit is not good, this suit is really bad.’”

The Norwegians and the Americans aren’t the only ones to experiment. Dutch skater Stefan recalls an innovation attempt he tested.

“I really didn’t like this experiment. There was a time when they tried to put oil in the tube of your skate. And the oil was going through the blade and put on the ice at the front of the blade so you were constantly gliding over a thin film of oil but I was not really happy with that because I already felt the International Skating Union would forbid this after a while and that happened.”

Stefan Groothuis was speaking on the Best in the World with Richard Parr podcast.

The Best Winter Olympics Podcasts


The 2018 Winter Olympics take place in PyeongChang from February 9-25. Here are some of the best podcasts that will keep you across everything that is happening during the games in South Korea.


The Podium

The Podium is NBC’s official Olympics podcast. They’ll have insider coverage throughout the 17 days of competition in PyeongChang. Along with in-depth interviews they will also explore the South Korean history and culture.

Listen here.


Olympic Fever

Jill Jaracz and Alison Brown host the Olympic Fever. They will be exploring the latest news at the games along with telling stories from the athletes, officials, organisers and fans involved.

Listen here.


PYC Podcast

PYC is apparently how locals say PyeongChang. PYC Podcast is produced by CBC Radio in Canada and hosted by the former Olympic downhill skier Kelly VanderBeek. Expect stories about the good old days of the Olympics, fighting, cheating and a behind-the-scenes look at the games.

Listen here.


5 Rings Daily

Duane Rollins and Kevin Laramee will be hosting a special 5 Rings podcast every day throughout the games live from 10am ET. They will wrap up the action with their gold, silver, bronze and wood medals of the day.

Listen here.


Best in the World with Richard Parr

Each week Richard Parr speak to a different World or Olympic Champion to find out what they do to become the best. Throughout February Richard speaks to a different Winter Olympic Champion. In the past year he has also heard amazing stories from over 15 Winter Olympic Champions. Guests have included Julia Mancuso, Kelly Clark and Jorrit Bergsma.

Listen here.

103 Stefan Groothuis – Speed Skating Olympic Champion

In 2014, at the age of 32, Stefan Groothuis became the 1000 metres speed skating Olympic Champion.

Stefan is our guest this week on the Best in the World with Richard Parr. 

Stefan opens up about his battle with depression in 2011.

He talks about how he managed to get over his mental illness and eventually win Olympic gold 

He talks about the injuries he suffered throughout his career including slicing his Achilles with his skate.  

The Dutchman tells us what a World-class speed skater requires from his equipment and his thoughts on the Norwegian skaters wearing blue suits.  

You can learn more about Stefan at Stefangroothuis.nl. 

If you want to continue the conversation on sports performance then join our new Best in the World Facebook group.

Plus, if you want to keep listening and learning from World and Olympic Champions then please support the Best in the World with Richard Parr podcast on Patreon at patreon.com/bestintheworld.