Michael Gross was the star of Generation X. When Michael Gross became Olympic champion in the 100 meter dolphin swim discipline in 1984 in Los Angeles, it was hard to believe not only for the German fans but also himself, it seemed. Michael Gross has been celebrated as a true miracle since his 1982 World Cup. With a body hight of 2.13 meters and an incredible arm span of 2.27 meters, he seemed to have been perfectly made for his passion swimming.
Today, in the Instagram generation, Michael Gross could have staged his Adonis body in a completely different way. If he had wanted that. Because back then, when he was just 20 years of age, he didn’t particularly like the limelight. In the press, he was considered taciturn and solitary. For example, he did not even appear at the press conference after his Olympic victory. He was considered a “silent fish”, matching his job as a swimmer.
It is perhaps less well known that the exceptional swim talent Michael Gross also studied German, Politics and Media Studies at Goethe University in Frankfurt and graduated in 1999 with a master’s degree. In 1994, three years after he finished his sports career, he received his doctorate in Dr. phil .. Michael Gross has been an independent management consultant in change management for years with a focus on leadership.
Would he be a professional athlete again today? In an interview with RP Online, he answered the question as follows: “A few years ago I talked to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge about the 80s. We agreed that show business in sports has become too much for us these days. Our time was much more relaxed. Rarely has a journalist ever come to swim training. But every time has its charm.” Michael Gross has long since ceased to be a dumb fish, on the contrary. Today he is considered one of the top speakers. But he is still not one of those who market themselves as a private person via social media.
In his lectures, Michael Gross likes to talk about his magical moments at the time. He doesn’t do this because he wants to boast of it, but to explain his guiding principle which is simply this: there is always a bit more to achieve! “The opponent’s performance cannot be influenced,” he says. “You have to be with yourself and reach your limits.”
In his first swimming race with 13 years of age, Michael Gross slipped into a 1500m freestyle competition more or less by accident. It was just a matter of achieving the goal and getting a scoring point for Germany.
“Already on the last lane I wondered why I didn’t see anyone in the pool around me. I thought I was obviously doing very well in the race. When I hit it, my trainer was already on the block. We looked at each other in disbelief and he said that I actually swam 100 meters too much.“
Michael Gross main topics as Top-Speaker are management, digital leadership, digital transformation, motivation and leadership.