Michael VanDervort, Olympic Champion. WTF??

Waldemar Cierpinski, 1976 Summer Olympics Men'...
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Silver Medal Winner?  Really?

As I noted here yesterday, I was proud to be the first male contributor to the Women of HR site.   This has already prompted some teasing from some of my peers, but I am a strong male, I can take it!  If you want to see who the rest of my talented colleagues are, you can click here.

From Drop Box

But then last night, my good friend Trish Mcfarlane teased me on the #HRHappyHour chat.    She brought up a bit of my shady past.  She mentioned the fact that I had allegedly been a Silver Medalist in a track event for the United States as part of the 1976 Olympics.   In fact, this factoid even appears in my bio on the Women of HR site, as you can see  in the image below.

From Drop Box

Now the odd part about the whole thing is that they left off the major portion of my Olympic accomplishments.  As anyone who has met me can attest, my physical stature and prowess alone speaks for itself.  Obviously, back in 1976, just one year out of high school, I was primed to give Mark Spitz a run for his money in swimming, along with the track events I had already qualified for.  I was even in exploratory discussions with the Jamacian Bob Sledding Association about joining their team in the Winter Olympics.   Unfortunately, it was at that moment that disaster struck!

I woke up and remembered that the entire thing was only a Bobby Ewing-like dream, and that Trish McFarlane was actually having some fun when she posted my Women of HR bio.

So there you have it. The truth is out.  I never won any type of Olympic medal, although I did mail out a letter with an Olympic stamp on it once.   I was never on the track team, or the swim team, and I have never even been to Jamaica, not even to party, mon.   I do have a liking for Red Stripe beer though, so it is not a complete loss.

I am just a victim of professional blog-place hazing, being the only member of my gender bold enough to step up and have my name put up in lights alongside all those lovely and talented women on Women of HR.

But I am strong, and I can take it.

Thanks for the fun, Trish!

Mike VanDervort

I am a labor and employee relations strategist at a Fortune 100 company. I have two professional passions: human resources and social media. I use my extensive knowledge of both in the work I do every day.

I speak and write frequently on how businesses can utilize social media tools to protect their brand, and promote positive employee relations, as well as other human resources topics. I have my own widely read website called the Human Race Horses.  I am an active contributor to many other forums, including Human Capitol League, Recruiting Blogs, Women of HR, and SmartBrief on Workforce.  I was also a member of the nearly undefeated Madison Heights Mustangs boy hockey team in 1974!

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18 thoughts on “Michael VanDervort, Olympic Champion. WTF??

  1. brilliant Mike! Glad you were able to take some teasing. We really are thrilled to have you as a Women of HR contributor. I loved your first post and can’t wait to see what you bring next month. Cheers!

  2. I would have bought it if you had mentioned that you would have won the Gold if it wasnt for that crummy East German Judge who gave you a low score…

  3. Now I don’t know what to believe. Are you really one of the women of HR or not?

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