October 22, 2013 | Barb Carr

Rocky Bleier to Speak at the 2014 Global TapRooT® Summit

Rocky Bleier (2)We are looking forward to welcoming Rocky Bleier as a keynote speaker at the 2014 Global TapRooT® Summit, April 7 – 11 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.

Rocky Bleier’s life story–a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battlefields of Vietnam–has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century.

With the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rocky Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way…lessons that we all can benefit from.

Not falling within the ideal of what a running back should look like, Bleier had to run harder and play smarter to be able to stand out. Despite his drive and ability to make the big play, the Pittsburgh Steelers only considered him a late round pick. But before the season ended that first year, he was drafted again–this time by the United States Army. At the height of the Vietnam War, Bleier was thrust into combat early and was seriously wounded when his platoon ran into an ambush. Receiving wounds from both rifle fire and grenade fragments in his legs, he was barely able to walk and his professional football career seemed to have ended before it began.

For more than two years, he drove himself. Little by little he overcame obstacles and fought his way back. He not only made the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also eventually became a starting running back on a team that won four Super Bowls and became the greatest football team of the 20th century.

The hard lessons Rocky Bleier learned early in his life that helped him overcome adversity and reach his goals, have paid off after football. Some of those lessons are seen between the lines in the popular book on his life, Fighting Back , and an ABC-TV movie of the week by the same name.

Rocky is active in the Veteran’s Administration–Abraxas, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the United Way, the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children; he serves as honorary chairman of the Special Olympics and supports the Civic Light Opera. As a board member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Rocky helped make possible the erection of a monument in Washington, D.C. to the servicemen and women who died in Vietnam.

Rocky’s special qualities have been recognized by colleagues as well as others who have honored him with awards too numerous to list in detail. Among them are the Whizzer White Humanitarian Award, the Vince Lombardi Award and the Most Courageous Athlete of the Decade Award. He has also received awards from the USO and been named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in America by the U.S. Jaycees.

Today, Rocky Bleier shares his expertise and insight as the sports anchorman at the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh, WPXI-TV. He is in demand as a speaker, motivating audiences in a wide variety of organizations, corporations and universities. And several companies, such as Uniroyal Tires, Sports Illustrated, Soloflex, Bradford-White, Swanson Dinners and First Federal Savings of Pittsburgh have benefited from his televised endorsements of their services and products.

Learn more about the Summit: http://www.taproot.com/products-services/summit

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