Champions Corner

4 U.S. Olympic medalists share advice on how to achieve your dreams

4 U.S. Olympic medalists share their advice on how to succeed in life

The U.S. Olympic team has so far won four medals in Pyeongchang: two snowboarding golds, a silver in luge and a bronze in the team free skating event.

Red Gerard is the 17-year-old boy wonder who championed the men's snowboarding slopestyle event. Jamie Anderson took home her second successive gold in the women's division. Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu share the bronze as stars of the free skating team. Chris Mazdzer is the unlikely luge silver medalist.

Prior to the opening ceremonies, some of these athletes spoke with CNBC Make It about what it takes to succeed. Here are their insights.

Mirai Nagasu: 'Believe in yourself'


Twenty-one seconds into her performance during the team free skating event, Nagasu became the first American woman to ever land a triple axel in the Olympics (and just the third of any country). Her secret: She's confident.

She recently took a personality assessment test for a management course she's enrolled in, and her narcissism score was double the class average. "I really dislike the word now," she jokes. "Narcissism is actually self-confidence. It just means that I really believe in myself."

"When someone really truly believes in themselves, magic happens," she adds. "So many great things happen... Believe in yourself."

Adam Rippon: 'Listen to your mentors'


Rippon attributes his success to his ability to soak up the knowledge and experience of those around him. "Whenever you have the chance to learn, take that chance," he says. "Listen to your coaches. Listen to your mentors. They've walked in those shoes that you are walking in."

He also echoes his teammate Nagasu's advice. "Don't doubt yourself," he says. "At the end of the day, the most important thing is: What do you think of yourself?"

Chris Mazdzer: 'Be very real with yourself'


In January, Mazdzer slid to No. 18 in the world rankings. But he overcame self-doubt to take home the silver and become the first American to medal in the men's singles luge event.

His advice: "Be very real with yourself."

"Make sure that it's a passion. Make sure that it's a calling because you don't want to chase the wrong dream. And if it's something that you have to battle yourself internally to do, maybe that's not the right dream for you," he says.

"If you have the passion, if it is a calling," Madzer says, "you will succeed."

Red Gerard: 'Don't take it too seriously'


Though young, Gerard isn't inexperienced. He's been snowboarding since he turned two and featured in magazines since age 10. Still, the Olympics are another kind of pressure.

Gerard's explains his ability to perform even with so much at stake. "Don't take it too seriously," he says. "It's all just fun. There's nothing too serious about it."

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032.

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