Devon Harris: Biography highlights

As an original member of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team and captain of the 1992 and 1998 teams; 3-time Olympian, Devon Harris achieved his grand dream. His current dream is to inspire others to achieve theirs. As an international motivational keynote speaker, Devon is tapping the same energy, determination and skills that enabled him to bobsled with the best in the world and is now sparking audiences of all ages to dream big and take their “game” to the next level.

Known for:

Authors
Sports Personalities

Languages spoken:

English

Full biography of Devon Harris

Devon Harris’ background

Born on Christmas Day, 1964, Devon Harris was raised in the violent ghetto environment of Olympic Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica. The greatest gift he ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger.  Devon Harris graduated from the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England and received a Queen’s Commission in December 1985 and served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force until December 1992 when he retired as a Captain.

Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team. The team competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada and their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings.

The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated.

Through the Keep On Pushing Foundation, Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador. He supports Right to Play’s efforts in using sport and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.

Being an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf and around the country. He is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-autobiographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lessons From Cool Runnings.

During the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea, Devon was inducted as an Olympian For Life by the World Olympian Association for his significant contribution to society.

He lives in New York and is married with 5 children.

 

 

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Available for:

After Dinner Engagement

Watch Devon in action

Playlist
1/3 videos
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How To Take Action  | Devon Harris | Motivational Speaker
How To Take Action | Devon Harris | Motivational Speaker
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Devon Harris | International Day Of Happiness | Keynote Speaker
Devon Harris | International Day Of Happiness | Keynote Speaker
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Jamaican Olympic Motivational Keynote Speaker | Devon Harris
Jamaican Olympic Motivational Keynote Speaker | Devon Harris
05:51
IBM Information on Demand global conference

Your presentation was exciting, motivating, captivating and your delivery was flawless. It set the stage for the rest of the day; enabling an open environment to discuss, to plan and to strategize together as one team. It was also commendable that you researched our conference and customized your story to fit within our theme of “Take Back Control.”

 

 

Mary Ann Alberry
Manager
Syngenta Andean & Caribbean

Your presentation will not be easily forgotten! You can be sure that our admiration for what you have done helped us achieve the goals Syngenta had for our program. I believe that your testimony and the valuable insight that you shared will make many human beings PASSIONATE about ACHIEVING, not only for Syngenta but for many other companies as well.

 

Pablo Casabianca 
General Manager
Martin Midstream Partners

You are a talented speaker with tremendous wit and truly energized our community during the Grand Opening Ceremonies for the new building to be used by Boys and Girls Club of East Texas. You spoke candidly about your life experiences, motivating everyone to exceed their expectations and be all they can be. It was indeed a day to remember in Longview, Texas.

 

 

 

Ruben Martin
President and CEO
Globalization/Strategy Integrated Supply Chain Strategy Textron, Inc.

We have had guest speakers in the past, but none have delivered a message of such significance as yours. It was simple and pure but at the same time profound and extremely moving. Your words motivated and inspired all of us to focus on our dreams and that giving up should never be an option. I personally have your five key principals (Dream, Motivation, Discipline, Faith and Perseverance) embedded in my mind and on my heart. They are applicable in any area of life. You are an example of someone who has taken your role in life seriously and uses it to help others along the way.

 

 

 

Tony Vernaci
Director
Schenker Logistics

Thank you for the incredibly passionate and inspirational speech you delivered at our annual meeting. You had our attention from the start and we thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the insightful lessons you drew from your Olympic bobsled experiences. Your presentation was so well received by our managers that virtually all of them asked that you come back to speak to our lower level managers and staff. You were beyond question a big hit!

 

 

Heiner Murmann
President & CEO
American Golf Corporation

We had the pleasure of working with Devon Harris as a guest speaker for our annual meeting of the top-50 executives in our company. Devon’s keynote address provided the ultimate emotional and motivational send-off for our team members. He did his homework on our company and made sure that through his speech, he connected with our people. Devon’s story about overcoming adversity and achieving the nearly im- possible inspired all of us to dream big!

 

Tom Norton
Sr. Vice President of Human Resources
BKD

Your presentation far exceeded our expectations. Your delivery style and clear message took hold of our audience and held their undivided attention. It was clear too, that you took the planning conference call very seriously and modified your message to touch all the salient points that I noted as being important for the conference.

 

Jerry Henderson
Partner
Rational Software Products IBM Software Group

Devon was a home-run hit. His story was compelling and his message was motivating and inspiring. He was impressive, engaging and passionate. Everyone enjoyed and appreciated Devon’s program and I would highly recommend him for any audience.

 

 

Eric Schurr
VP Marketing
Association of Professors of Gynecology Nursing Society

Your presentation style, your thoughtful comments, and your inspirational story all were very meaningful and much appreciated by our membership. We especially were impressed by the obvious homework you did about our organization and the problems that we currently face as you mentioned them during your talk. We also thank you for your willingness to be accessible to our members after lunch as you signed autographs and talked with so many people who wanted to meet you.

 

 

J M Ernest MD
President
SpectraLink Corporation

Mr. Harris delivered an exceptional speech to our group of approximately 200 employees which was both motivational and inspirational in nature. While his recent background is that of an athlete on the world stage, his speech transcended athletics and spoke to the broader issues of hard work and perseverance that make all things possible. The challenges of his early life gave great credibility to his messages. The feedback from the attendees was highly positive. He was very well-liked by our employees both on and off the stage where he also took the time to socialize with the staff. We received a lot of feedback from staff members not only about how engaging Mr Harris was, but also about his powerful, inspiring message.

 

John Elms
President & CEO

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