Born: October 5, 1965, Montreal, Canada | Successful For: NHL Legend, Entrepreneur | Zodiac Sign: Libra
Inner Keys to Success:
- LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU LOVE: Once stating “Every day is a great day for hockey”, Mario debuted his passion driven journey with hockey when he began practicing in his basement at age 3. He and his brothers would use wooden kitchen spoons as hockey sticks and bottle caps as pucks. Mario Lemieux became one of the greatest players to ever play the sport and it is almost directly related to the burning desire he has. He even admitted to sleeping with the Stanley Cup in 1991. He once returned to the line-up just hours after getting his last radiation treatment during his cancer tribulations. “I didn’t really know how much I loved to play Hockey until I stopped”. After retiring, he couldn’t live without the game and decided to return, in which he would go on to win Canada a gold medal. Such a strong passion for the game, that even after his second and final retirement, he would go on to become an owner of an NHL franchise. He would also allow for new rookies like Sidney Crosby and Marc Andre Fleury to live with him until they settled in. Apparently, much hockey, advice and coaching on a one on one basis would be the foundation that helped the youngsters become greats like the “Super Mario” himself.
- BE SO CONFIDENT IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS: He put out the intention of what he wanted to accomplish and was extremely confident that it would come true. When “Super Mario” was drafted at the age of 15 he declared that he was going to break league records, and to no surprise he went on to win numerous awards and shattered records, just like he intended. When you have the unwavering faith to make it happen the world will metaphorically speaking, move out of the way for you. On the last day before Lemieux played in the QMJHL, he needed 3 goals to tie Guy Lafleurs famous record, he scored 6 goals and tallied 6 assists. When Lemieux hit the NHL, on his first game he stole the puck from legendary defensemen Ray Bourque and scored on his first shot. This kind of boldness served him well throughout his career, from scoring a goal in his first shift ever to getting an assist is his first shift out of retirement. Even during the Olympics, he would steer the team to Gold while being injected with pain killers for his hip just to stay on the ice. He would only play one more game after the tournament, but it was mind over matter mentality that allowed him to earn another trophy to the resume.
- BE A COMEBACK KING AND REFUSE TO GIVE-UP: Lemieux went through many injuries, even cancer, and became an example of someone who never gives up as he, came back to the NHL after retirement to finish strong. He attained the great ability to persevere. Lemieux is pure inspiration to hockey fans from around the world for battling a spinal disc hernia ion, being diagnosed and overcoming the cancer Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He would endure chronic tendinitis of a hip-flexor muscle, and chronic back pain so severe that he had to have others tie his skates for him, but didn’t let any of his injuries stop him from the love of the game. Such an overcomer, he would go on to create the Mario Lemieux Foundation the same year as he was diagnosed. The main objective of the Foundation was to fund promising medical research projects being conducted by scientists. When the Penguins initially had financial troubles, he came in shattered records, won cups and brought the city back up on his shoulders. And upon retirement, the team again went through a crisis; however, Lemieux saved the team from bankruptcy with a reorganization strategy. The franchise was rescued and Lemieux did what he always did, make a comeback. He became the President and CEO of the Penguins, and with his guidance, they would end up winning a cup years later.
“All I can say to the young players is, enjoy every moment of it. Just enjoy every moment of it.”
– Mario Lemieux
Lemieux was surrounded by a very supportive family. His 2 older brothers loved to play the game as well, one of whom also played in the NHL. And his father even built them a rink on the yard. He would also pack snow in the house for when it was dark outside, so that they could play hockey even inside.
“When it comes to hockey, it’s been in my blood since I was 3 or 4 years old.”
– Mario Lemieux
- Image: Creative Commons
- Image: Creative Commons – Flickr: Mario Lemieux, Hall of Famer