Man whose speech inspired UVA's comeback speaks in Salem

Donald Davis' TedTalk inspired UVA's journey

SALEM – The man U. Va.'s coach and players say inspired them to make it to the national championship gave one of his famous speeches in Salem on Thursday.

Retired United Methodist minister and professional storyteller Donald Davis spoke at the Salem Civic Center for the Salem Rotary Club, sharing stories about his youth.

A TedTalk Davis gave four years ago about overcoming adversity was used as inspiration all throughout UVA’s season this year.

"Laura Bennett was there at the TedTalk and four years later remembered it after that horrible loss a year ago. She told her husband that the team ought to see that, and apparently they played with that story at times, at looking at what happened, giving it a name and overcoming it,” Davis said.

Coach Tony Bennett talked about the speech he used to motivate his team after winning the national championship.

“The quote we use, and I guess I'm full of quotes, it's from that TedTalk that I showed them at the beginning of the year and I said, the quote is this, ‘if you learn to use it right, the adversity, it will buy you to a ticket to a place you couldn't have gone any other way."

That adversity of being a No. 1 seed losing to a No. 16 seed last year was certainly transformed by Bennett to UVA’s ticket to the national championship this year.

Davis will headline Sounds of the Mountains this weekend at Camp Bethel. For ticket information click here.

About the Author: