Finding the Champion Within: Bruce Jenner Comes to NU

The Kardashian family is constantly one-upping each other with their mind-boggling performances—whether its Khole putting her sex life on national television or Kim crying like a 13-year-old girl because her sham wedding didn’t turn out like she’d hoped. Even the babies of the family—Kendall and Kylie—are sure to shock the world soon…we’re just not sure how yet.

Holding the family together, and most likely the sanest one in the group, is dad and man-of-the-house Bruce Jenner—who also happened to visit Blackman Auditorium at Northeastern last week.

Speaking in front of a crowded audience, Jenner talked about the ups and downs of being a dad to arguably America’s most notorious family in addition to his experience as an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon in the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics (He even answered a phone call from daughter Kylie onstage, putting her on speaker. She wanted a ride to the movies and said hello to everyone, but we’re still not sure if she ever got a ride.)

Jenner’s speech, titled, ‘Finding the Champion Within,’ was about, “Somebody who started with nothing and went out wanting to accomplish something,” he explained. “We all have a champion that lives within us. All our dreams can come true if we do certain things along the way.”

Repeating his manta—“find the champion within”—several times throughout his talk Jenner started his story by introducing the end of his football career. His leg was in a cast, and he was certain his athletic career was over.

But once he got out of his cast, someone suggested for him to try the decathlon, an Olympic event that consists of ten track and field events over two days including a 100 meter run, the long jump, pole vault, discuss throw and more.

After trying it and realizing he was pretty good, he began training full-time and year-round (that’s 6-8 hours per day), working his way up from 11th place to third place to qualifying for the 1976 Summer Olympics—which he then won the gold medal at.

“I needed to ask myself a simple question: ‘Is winning the games the single most important thing in my life?’” Jenner said. “At first I said, ‘no it’s just sports.’ But what if I said yes? … I realized I needed more confidence to overcome failure.”

Jenner encouraged all students to think about the single most important thing in their life, and to not get bogged down by being afraid of failing.

“Find that one thing that makes you excited for the day, that passion for life, that arena to play in,” he said. “Fear can burn your house down—push that fear out of your way.”

He reminded students to always believe in the power of themselves, too.

After Jenner concluded his speech, he took questions from the audience—who wanted to know everything from who he admired, to what it was like raising his kids, to life in the Kardashian house. But the most buzzed-about question was about his recent divorcee daughter’s relationship with a certain rapper who notoriously stole the mic from Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV awards.

To that, he replied, “Personally I’m not that excited about it,” both confirming our worst fears and showing how a daughter can still give their daddy wrinkles after age 30.