Athletes & Commentators

Some of sport’s most recognizable names and faces and world champions are available for speaking engagements. Virtual keynote motivational sports speakers and top athletes offer insights on teamwork, overcoming adversity, motivation, perseverance, being the master of our own success, finding inner strength, goal-setting, and tenacity. These athlete speakers make great moderators, emcees, event hosts, and keynote speakers on inspiration and motivation. From basketball speakers to boxing speakers to master of ceremonies, check out these athletes and commentators.

Let us know if you are interested in one of our speakers for your event.

Olympic Champion Swimmer; 10x Olympic Medalist, 21x World Champion, 14x World Record Breaker

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    Please Inquire
Katie Ledecky is a 10-time Olympic Medalist (seven Gold, three Silver) and 21-time World Championship Gold Medalist, the most for any female swimmer. She has broken 14 World Records and 37 American Records in her career. Katie was the most decorated female athlete at both Tokyo and Rio Games and had the most decorated single Olympics performance ever by a U.S. female athlete in Rio. Katie’s success has earned her USA Swimming’s Golden Goggles Award as Female Swimmer of the Year an unprecedented eight times. A recent graduate of Stanford University, Katie is passionate about the importance of education, especially STEM and leadership programs for girls. Katie went home with more hardware at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - two gold medals and two silver medals, making her the most decorated female swimmer in individual events of all time. She also made history by winning gold at the first ever 1500m women’s event.

Legendary "Iron Man" of Baseball

Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
One of the true legends of baseball, "Iron Man" Cal Ripken, Jr. broke several professional records during his 21 seasons, but none is as sacred as his consecutive-games-played record. Shattering Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,131 games by more than 500, Ripken displayed perseverance, endurance, and an everyday work ethic that endeared him to fans, transformed him into a national icon, and some argue, even saved baseball at its darkest moment. An inspirational speaker, philanthropist, businessman, and best-selling author, Cal Ripken, Jr. is the personification of leadership, commitment, and excellence. In warm and witty presentations filled with stories from his illustrious career, he shares how his keys to success apply to both the business world as well as the baseball field.

Olympic Silver Medal-Winning Gymnast

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
Acclaimed for her indomitable tenacity and daredevil skills, Olympic silver medalist MyKayla Skinner burst onto the American gymnastics scene when she won the junior individual all-around title at the 2011 American Classic. At 24, she became the oldest U.S. Olympic gymnast since 2004 when she competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she brought the trademark resilience and competitive spirit that have earned her a reputation as a powerhouse performer and model teammate, vaulting her way to a silver medal on the global stage. Her optimism, fire, and flair can be felt throughout the room as she provides an Olympian’s perspective on performing at a championship-level in high-pressure situations, overcoming adversity, and charting your own path to achieving your goals.

Keynote Speaker, World Class Magician, TV Personality, Former NFL Pro Bowler

Fees
  • Local: $75,001 and up*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
As an entertainer for over twenty years, Jon is known as the NFL's “Magic Man" and is respectfully referred to as the "Entertainer's Entertainer." He also has performed personally for Jason Statham, Nicholas Cage, Garth Brooks, Magic Johnson, the entire New England Patriots football team, Joe Montana and Dan Marino.

Boxing Champion, Elite Athlete, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, TV Host, Beauty & Lifestyle Brand CEO, Actress, Advocate for Children, Author, &Speaker

Fees
  • Local: $75,001 and up*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
Laila Ali is a world-class athlete, fitness & nutrition expert, TV host, cooking enthusiast, founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand and mother of two. The daughter of late beloved global icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, she is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion, whose stellar record includes 24 wins (21 of which were "knockouts") and zero losses. Laila is heralded as the most successful female in the history of women’s boxing.

Retired US Men's National Soccer Team Goalkeeper

Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Tim Howard is an American soccer legend. He has the most caps and wins of any goalkeeper in US Soccer history, he played in three World Cups and holds the record for most saves by any goalkeeper in a single game in World Cup history. Tim is also the first USA ambassador for Everton Football Club. . Retiring from soccer at the end of the 2019 MLS Season, his career in the league was filled with honors including being named a MLS All-Star, All-League, and Humanitarian of the Year. Tim was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at a young age and has volunteered countless hours to the advocacy of Tourette-related disorders. He works with several Tourette Association organizations and continues to be a role model off the field with his philanthropic work. He published an autobiography, The Keeper: A Life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them, chronicling his career and life with Tourette Syndrome and OCD. Personable and charismatic, Tim is now a full-time studio analyst for NBC Sports and their English Premier League broadcast.

Retired Marine Sergeant, Paralympic Bronze Medalist, & Endurance Athlete

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $10,001 - $20,000*
Retired Marine Sergeant and Paralympic Bronze Medalist, Rob Jones’ life is synonymous with fearless perseverance. In 2010, he was struck and injured by a land mine, resulting in a double above-the-knee leg amputation. Despite the injury, Rob’s incredible spirit remained intact. He went on to win bronze in the 2012 Paralympics, place fourth in the 2013 World Rowing Championships, and bike across the country for charity in 2015. In the fall of 2017, Rob completed a month long, back-to-back marathon challenge, running 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different major cities. The incredible undertaking raised awareness and funds for wounded veteran charities.

New England Patriot's Head Coach

Fees
  • Local: Please Inquire
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Jerod Mayo was introduced as the 15th head coach of the New England Patriots on January 17th, 2024. He succeeds his former head coach, mentor, and coaching legend Bill Belichick. Mayo has been on the Patriots coaching staff for the last five years, serving as the teams inside linebacker's coach. Since joining the Patriots coaching staff the team has finished in the top 10 in total team defense, including ranking first in the NFL in 2019. Mayo has played an integral role in coaching and developing a number of Pro Bowl linebackers, including Dont’a Hightower, Matthew Judon, and Josh Uche.

Legendary NBA Player

Fees
  • Local: $75,001 and up*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
Earvin "Magic" Johnson is a retired American professional basketball player. He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007 and since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention.

2018 Paralympic Silver Medalist & 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Three-Time World Cup Gold Medalist

Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Amy Purdy had a typical childhood until losing her legs at 19 as a result of Meningitis, which has led to an adulthood of extraordinary accomplishments. Amy is the top ranked adaptive snowboarder in the US, a three-time World Cup Para-Snowboard winner, the 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, and the 2018 Paralympic Silver Medalist. She is the co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports (AAS), a non-profit organization which helps disabled youth, young adults, and wounded veterans get involved with action sports, and the author of the New York Times best-selling book, On My Own Two Feet. Amy has evolved into a powerful inspirational and motivational speaker who has been seen by millions of people and invited to share her story to audiences around the world.

3-Time Olympic Gymnast, Olympic Gold Medalist; First African American Gymnast to Qualify for the Olympic Games

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Dominique Dawes spent years breaking barriers and breaking records in the sport of Gymnastics and is best known for her tremendous success as an Olympic gymnast who competed in three Olympic Games. She was a member of the gold-medal-winning "Magnificent Seven" team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. After much dedication to the sport, Dominique retired to focus on her passion to encourage, educate and motivate others. Currently the Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, she works closely with First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Council to help promote the Let’s Move! Initiative, educating children on fitness and nutrition while motivating them to get moving.

Former Denver Bronco, Media Personality, Author, and Motivational Speaker

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Reggie Rivers is a renaissance man whose talents and achievements have spanned many different disciplines. He’s a former NFL running back, a media personality, a business owner, an author and a motivational speaker, master of ceremonies, and auctioneer. He entered the NFL as a classic underdog—an undrafted rookie free agent and a longshot to make a team. But he managed to win a roster spot with the Denver Broncos and stayed with the team for six seasons. In speeches, Reggie shares the lessons he’s learned from the NFL that translate perfectly to the business world and enable peak performance. His message will reinforce the ideas that organizations are already preaching to their teams – providing that “aha” moment by presenting these strategies in the context of football.

Head Coach, Los Angeles Chargers; Former NFL Quarterback and Michigan Coach

Fees
  • Local: $75,001 and up*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Jim Harbaugh was named the Los Angeles Chargers head coach on January 24, 2024. Jim Harbaugh has been the head coach of the University of Michigan football team for nine seasons. He was named the 20th coach in Michigan football history in 2014 and is the sixth former Michigan football player to be named the leader of college football's winningest program. Harbaugh is a National Champion, leading Michigan to the 2023 CFP and defeating Washington in the National Championship game. Harbaugh came to Ann Arbor, MI after an impressive four-year run in the National Football League as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers (2011-2014). He led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game in each of his first three seasons, winning the George Halas Trophy as NFC champions in 2012. Harbaugh tallied a 49-22-1 overall record that included a 5-3 mark in the postseason as 49ers head coach. At Michigan, Harbaugh has guided the Wolverines to a 74-25 record and 51-17 in Big Ten games. He has led Michigan to five 10-win seasons, seven bowl games, three straight College Football Playoffs (2021-23), and a National Championship (2023). He is highly respected in the coaching world for his consistent success and winning philosophy.

Legendary NFL Coach, Pro Football Hall of Famer

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Jimmy Johnson is the architect of the Dallas Cowboys' consecutive victories in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, a former Miami Dolphins coach, and member of Fox's NFL Sunday team. The first head coach to win both a National Collegiate Championship and a Super Bowl Championship, Johnson is a proven leader and motivator. Johnson is also the author of the autobiography Turning the Thing Around: Pulling America's Team Out of the Dumps-And Myself Out of the Doghouse, which chronicles his life and coaching experience. It's the ultimate insider's look at football from one of the true masters of the sport.

Host of the Darren Woodson Podcast, Former ESPN Analyst, Forever Dallas Cowboy, Entrepreneur

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: Please Inquire
  • Asia: Please Inquire
Three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Darren Woodson is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Dallas Cowboys uniform. The vocal leader of the defense during the Cowboys 1990’s Super Bowl teams, Woodson was one of the most popular players both inside the clubhouse and as an ambassador in the community. Upon retirement, Woodson joined ESPN as an NFL analyst. He appears on NFL Live and SportsCenter, as well as other ESPN platforms throughout the year. Woodson earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitters and most ferocious strong safeties in the NFL during his 13 seasons (1992-2004), all with the Dallas Cowboys. The quarterback of the team’s defense during its three championship runs in the 1990s (Super Bowl’s XXVII, XXVIII and XXX), Woodson registered career totals of 11 sacks, 23 interceptions and 1,350 tackles, the most in Cowboys franchise history at the time of his retirement in 2004. A native of Phoenix, Woodson was a second-round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft (37th overall) from Arizona State University, where he was a converted linebacker. He earned a bachelor of science from ASU in Justice Studies. In addition to his analyst work for ESPN, Woodson is involved in several businesses, and he remains active in the Dallas community, most notably as a board member for the North Texas Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Bring The Game Inside With A Motivational Sports Speaker

Our motivational sports speakers are naturals on both the playing field and the stage. And with the vast number of exceptional commentators and athletes we represent, you’re bound to score a home run with your audience.

Top sports that our professional athlete speakers and commentators represent and can give a keynote speech include but are not limited to:

  • Football
  • Swimming
  • Track & Field
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Wrestling
  • Boxing
  • NASCAR
  • Rugby
  • And more!

Whether you’re in need of a Hall of Fame football player, a record-breaking explorer, or a seasoned coach or commentator, you can find them here. Our lineup of motivational and inspirational sports speakers also includes Olympic and Paralympic medalists. With the motivation our speakers give your audience, your attendees will not only be inspired to tackle challenges they once thought impossible, they will also remember that it was your event that gave them the confidence and drive to change.

These top athletes don't just have their professional athletic abilities and insights to offer. Many of these Hall of Fame athletes available for speaking engagements are also futurist speakers, communication speakers, and bestselling authors. They are knowledgeable in future trends, change management, corporate culture, personal growth, personal development, event planning, current events, team building, emotional intelligence, and have been featured in Ted Talks.

Looking to hold an in-person event even though we're located in the District of Columbia? Not a problem. These speakers on athletes and sports come from all over the U.S., including, but not limited to, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Rhode Island, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. And if you're looking for a virtual keynote speaker to give an engaging virtual speech, we have a talented roster of former NFL players, trophy winners, Hall of Famers, Olympic gold medalists, NBA champions, head coaches, Super Bowl champions, former NFL quarterbacks, legendary NFL coaches, Olympic athletes, gold medal winners, and record holders.

At Leading Authorities speakers bureau, we’re all about “wowing” audiences. That’s why we take a consultative approach to matching your event with a motivational sports speaker and business speaker that fits your budget, attendees, and theme. Start searching through our list of professional speakers—from basketball speakers to explorer speakers— today or contact us if you would like to inquire about their fees range and for more information!

If you are looking for specific sports motivational speakers not listed above, please contact our booking agency team as we specialize in placing hard-to-find and in-demand keynote speakers from all around the world, which may not be listed on our website.