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Tony Hoffman  

Pro BMX Competitor & Recovering Addict

A native of Central California and a graduate of Clovis High School, Tony Hoffman’s life has been defined by the highest peaks and the lowest valleys. As a gifted athlete, Tony spent his high school years traveling the country racing BMX. He achieved the status of a top-ranked amateur along with multiple contract endorsements. Unfortunately, he started using alcohol, marijuana, prescription pain killers, and other drugs. A downward spiral of addiction led him to commit armed robbery in 2004. At his sentencing, Tony was given probation and the opportunity to achieve sobriety in lieu of prison. However, he was not yet ready to make changes in his life, resulting in a probation violation, which landed him in prison in 2007.

Every cloud has a silver lining. During his two-year incarceration at the Wasco, Tehachapi, and Avenal state prisons, he started planning a way to use both the positives and the negatives of his life to help kids avoid the mistakes he had made himself.

Upon release from prison, Tony immediately re-entered the BMX racing circuit, winning five races as pro and competing at the Olympic level for two years. But he never forgot his dream to help kids. In 2010, he achieved his goal of starting the Freewheel Project, a non-profit BMX racing organization devoted to educating youth on the importance of leading drug-free lives. The Freewheel Project directs youth toward outlets, such as BMX racing, as a way to fill their time with positive activities, which improve their wellbeing and boost their self-esteem. His summer BMX camps have grown in popularity as has his demand as an inspirational speaker.

Whether competing on the track, teaching youth the sport of BMX, or sharing words through public speaking, Tony follows three guiding principles: Make the right choices, follow the right people, and never give up on your dreams.

Speech Topics

From The Point of No Return to Overcoming Adversity: My Personal Journey

How many times have you said to yourself, “It's too late now, there's no point in continuing?” Tony Hoffman went from a star BMX athlete on the cover of magazines with corporate endorsements to the streets of West Fresno as a homeless drug addict and a prison inmate. However, upon realizing his true potential and that it is never too late to go after your dreams, he was able to turn his life around. Hoffman became a world class athlete at the professional ranks of BMX racing and later started the Freewheel Project. This keynote is a walk through the life, perspective and choices Hoffman has made and the places it took him thereafter. Let him tell your audience how he overcame his darkest demons and instead, made them the fuel for his own success.

The Stairway to Faith: All Things are Possible

Tony Hoffman is asked regularly, “How did you escape your addictions?” His answer is simple: A God he came to believe in through an unbelievable spiritual story. Hoffman shares his personal experiences with drug addiction, the influence God played in it, and how everything eventually came together for the world class athlete. As the founder of the Freewheel Project through divine intervention, Hoffman explains to audiences how success is a series of calculated leaps of faith. Sometimes, we don't know how we are going to get to our destination, and faith serves as our compass. While telling a breathtaking story, he provides anecdotes on how faith allowed him to overcome the odds, reaching the many goals he had set for himself.

Education First

As a student, Pro BMX Competitor Tony Hoffman saw school as a waste of time. This led him down a turbulent road. He became a drug addict, followed the wrong crowd and eventually ended up in prison for two years. While behind bars, he reflected on his bad decisions and their dire consequences. It was only then that he experienced an epiphany, realizing the apathy he felt towards education had carried over into all other aspects of his life, destroying his innate talents.

In this speech, Hoffman motivates students to understand the importance of education and working hard to set goals for success in the classroom and beyond. Also, when addressing community members, he inspires them by sharing the profound role mentors, educators, parents and coaches played as he turned his life around. Each person offered him sound advice, a different perspective and allowed him to reconsider his poor choices. Those people who supported Hoffman from the beginning through his trials and tribulations became instrumental in where he is personally today. As he shares his insights with audiences, young people will be inspired to make good choices and understand why dangerous behaviors and decisions can lead to severe consequences.

Hitting Rock Bottom to Recovering from Addiction

Tony Hoffman had it all. He was a top ranked Amateur BMX rider, on the cover of a magazine, and received many endorsements. However, one fateful choice when hanging out with the wrong crowd changed his life forever. From hitting rock bottom as a severe drug addict to coming out alive on the other side, Hoffman shares his personal story of recovery. After being in prison, he became a world class athlete, won 5 pro races, and was offered a spot in an Olympic Development camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. His struggles are very real, but through personal experience and a conscious effort to make a change, he allows audiences into his world as a champion for rehab and recovery.

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