Ruben’s Quest to Make Olympic History
Competing in 5 Olympics in 5 Different Decades
Oldest Winter Olympian Ever at 59 Years Old
1988, 1992, 2002, 2010, 2022
2017 Luge Season – The Comeback
Comeback after a 7 year break.
Always challenge yourself.
Get passionate about your goals.
Age is Just a Number
Ruben believes that with modern training methods, proper nutrition, modern medicine, sitting less, using good ergonomics at work, and mental toughness techniques, it will become more and more common for older athletes to compete in the Olympics.
Life expectancies will get higher. 100 will be the new 60. People won’t have mid-life crises until they are in their 80s.
People will be in their prime in their 50s and 60s.
So don’t use your age as an excuse to not pursue a goal that’s important to you. Age is just a number. It’s meaningless.
Just focus on your dream, surround yourself with like-minded mentors and coaches, stay positive, hopeful, and optimistic, and astound the world with the great things you do.
Why Is Ruben Doing This?
Ruben hopes that his record will not last longer than four years. He hopes other middle-aged athletes will be inspired to come out of retirement, start training again, and show the world that no matter how old you are, you can still pursue your goals and dreams.
At 55, after a seven year break, Ruben’s back on the International Luge Circuit on a quest to become the oldest person to ever compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing 2022 and the only person to ever compete in five Winter Olympics EACH in a different decade – 1988, 1992, 2002, 2010, 2022.
The oldest person to ever compete in the Winter Olympics was Carl August Kronlund, a Swedish curler who was 58 at the 1924 Chamonix Olympics.
This is Ruben’s third seven year break. He retired after the 1992 Albertville Olympics, came back for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, retired again, came back for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, retired, and is back for more action after getting the seven year itch again.
He’s the Brett Favre of the Olympics.
October 2017 – Calgary
Ruben spent 10 days in Calgary taking his first luge runs since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The goal was to take some rust off, and work his way back to the top of the track in only 21 runs.
While in Calgary, Ruben was coached by US Olympian Jonathan Edwards and four-time Latvian Olympian Guntis Rekis.
The 10 day training went so well that Ruben decided to come back in December and try to qualify against the best in the world for the Calgary Nations Cup Race.
Ruben’s was using his 25-year-old sled, the same sled he’s used since the 1992 Albertville Olympics. Both Jonathan and Guntis agreed Ruben’s sled belongs in a museum, not in competition.
After seven years, the sled’s suspension system was bound up and Guntis spent hours working on it.
The coaches came up with some faster, riskier lines down the track, and Ruben worked on relaxation, proper aerodynamic position, flexibility and start technique.
After the 10 day training, Ruben left the sled in Calgary so Guntis would have more time to work on it.
Today’s sleds are a lot faster so Ruben will be getting a new sled for next season.
December 2017 – Calgary Nations Cup
Ruben came back to Calgary and would have only six chances to qualify for the Nations Cup Race. Three runs one day and three more the next day. Because of the faster sleds, Ruben needed to beat his personal Calgary track record by 0.2 seconds to qualify for the race.
Ruben first slid in the Calgary track 30 years before, when the track opened in 1987. Most of his competitors had not even been born then.
Some coaches told Ruben that at his age he should be coaching. After all, he was by far the oldest slider in the field. Ruben responded that he’d rather be in the trenches where the action is.
Ruben surprised everyone when he qualified on his 5th run – by only 0.04 seconds! The blink of an eye.
Afterwards, someone said that because of his old sled, it was like qualifying for a major tennis tournament with a wooden racquet.
At 55 Ruben is now the oldest person to ever compete in the International Luge Circuit.
His goal is to be in the top 37 men who will compete in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The next four years will be tough, but Ruben’s coaches say he can do it.
In the off season Ruben will be focusing on improving his flexibility, his explosiveness and his starting technique so that coupled with a new sled he can compete with the world’s best at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Ruben competing at the 1988 Calgary Olympics over 30 years ago.
Coach Jonathan Edwards (USA) working on Ruben’s sled.
Coach Guntis Rekis (Latvia) going over lines with Ruben.
Coach Ioan Apostol (Romania) helping Ruben at the weigh in.
Coach Robert Taleanu (Romania) helping Ruben at the race start.
Ruben at the finish with luge friends from Argentina, China, Croatia and Portugal
2018 Luge Season
1960 Lotus F-1 from the Barber Auto Museum in Alabama
The New Sled
Coach Robert Fegg, a top German sled-maker, made Ruben’s new sled. It’s going to take some getting used to, but after the normal adjustment period, Ruben should be sliding faster than ever.
While visiting the Barber Auto Museum in Alabama, Ruben fell in love with the 1960 Lotus Formula 1 car in the picture and decided to paint his sled to match. The “Lotus 2022 Sled” looks great.
After an off season working on increasing his flexibility, Ruben will train in several tracks in North America focusing on the fundamentals of luge. This “back to basics” approach will help make up for his cramming 10 years worth of training in only two years when he first began to learn the sport of luge in 1984.
It’s time to replace some bad habits with some solid luge technique.
“2022 Lotus Sled” the “Mach 5” for 5 Olympics in 5 decades.
Front of sled. The candy cane shaped parts that hold the steels are called kufens.
Top of sled as seen from the back (head side) to the front (feet side).
Coaches Robert Fegg (GER) & Jonathan Edwards (USA) next to the new sled.
Closeup of the front and how the steel runners are attached to the kufens.
Brand new set of fingertip spikes compliments of Coach Robert Fegg.
Closeup of sled handles. To stay relaxed you hold on very lightly.
People Relate to Ruben Because He’s a Common Man Who Accomplished Some Uncommon Things
Ruben became a four-time Olympian in spite of not being a great athlete. In fact, all his life when kids were picking teams in P.E., Ruben was always the last kid picked.
This is critically important, because your audience will relate to Ruben much more than they would relate to someone like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods.
If someone like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods spoke to your people, subconsciously your audience would think, “That stuff will work for THEM, but it won’t work for me.”
However, after Ruben’s program, people think, “If THAT guy could make it to the Olympics four times, then I can do anything!”
When Ruben shares his story he’s transparent, open and vulnerable. He shares what it felt like when he was struggling, and how he got himself to stay in the game long enough to learn the skills he would need to succeed.
He makes a powerful human connection with his audiences. The most common comment he gets after his presentations is “You’re so real, you’re so genuine.”
Ruben’s incredible story takes people’s excuses away. People actually buy into what Ruben says because they can relate to him.
Isn’t that what you want? For your people to start applying some proven success principles so they can be more productive and get better results?
Ruben will inspire and equip your people to improve their performance and reach their goals.
It’s all About Helping You Reach Your Objectives
About Moving Your People to Commitment and Action for Your Goals
“Your talk was superb. You helped our conference shine!”
– Daniel Ranta – Director, Knowledge Sharing – ConocoPhillips
“Ruben did a phenomenal job of bringing a message of hope to our associates.”
– David Erland – New York Life
“Ruben, you have inspired us all to reach new heights, and for that we salute you.”
– Kurt Ritter – General Marketing Manager – Chevrolet Motor Division
“Ruben’s message was insightful, motivating and inspirational. Ruben stands out a as a role model for all who have dreams and want to learn how to turn them into reality.”
– Neddy Perez – Shell Oil
“Ruben ignited our meeting. His message was right on target. It generated immediate action and helped us excel as a company.”
– George Chavel – CEO – Sodexo
“This was a fantastic lesson on leadership. Listening to ‘The story of your dreams and your life’ is a real example for us to follow as Business leaders.”
– Caroline Basyn – CIO – Bacardi