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International Council of Air Shows

Rocky Bleier Inspires Delegates in Opening Session

December 12th, 2012
Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,200 ICAS Convention delegates, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back, and wounded Vietnam veteran, Rocky Bleier touched on a number of themes important to air show professionals during yesterday’s opening general session in the Concorde Ballroom. During his presentation, Bleier spoke of the value of teamwork, the role of patriotism and the importance of overcoming challenges, themes that clearly resonated with an attentive audience of air show professionals. Bleier, who was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, told of looking forward to the annual air show in nearby Oshkosh each summer. But the highlight of his informative and spirited presentation was his story of how a perpetually losing football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1960s, was transformed into a perennial winner with a creative blend of leadership, talent, dedication and teamwork. While Bleier felt there were many parallels between success on the gridiron and success in the world of air shows, something many ICAS members will long remember was how his early career with the Steelers was interrupted when he was drafted and then wounded in Vietnam making a return to professional football unlikely, if not im¬possible. But with a combination of determination and support from his teammates, Bleier not only became a starting running back with a championship team, he was part of a team that won four Super Bowls. And he proudly displayed his four Super Bowl rings to the ICAS audience.