70ºF

Self-made CEO turns pain into passion by helping others reach their goals

Ernest Wiggins II, former sprinter, now runs his own company

Ernest Wiggins II is a former Olympic sprinter and Founder and CEO of his own company, Atlas Speed Training LLC. (WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – At a young age, Ernest Wiggins learned how to keep going.

Wiggins was only 4 years old when he lost his father in a car crash.

He was so young he could barely process it, but said he was old enough to realize something was missing.

While playing organized sports as a child, he remembers seeing other kids’ parents hug them after his youth football games.

[RELATED: How did Black History Month come to be? | Tell us: What does Black History Month mean to you?]

It was something he longed for but also something that would later motivate him to fill that void in the lives of others.

He set out on a mission to make his father proud, through sports and by creating opportunities for other people.

Throughout high school and college, he played several sports but track is the one he loved most.

He broke records at his North Carolina high school by running the 100-meter dash in 10.22 seconds.

He continued on to Appalachian State University, where he earned two All-American honors and nine collegiate sprint records.

Again, he kept going.

He represented the U.S. in eight different international events, including the 2004 Summer Olympics.

His journey in professional sprinting lead him to Orlando.

In 2005, he moved to the City Beautiful to train.

He would run professionally for years, at one point clocking a time that ranked him among some of the top runners in the world.

He later ended up tearing his left Achilles, which derailed him from competing in the 2016 Olympics.

Still, he kept going.

A friend approached him to be an ambassador for Elevate Orlando, an organization that seeks to uplift low-income students and help them on their pathway to college.

Wiggins jumped at the opportunity.

He started visiting low-income schools in the Orlando area and speaking to the students.

He spoke as a father to some children, which is something he never had.

While networking and discovering his love for giving back, Wiggins started Atlas Speed Training LLC, a speed and agility training company that trains between 450 and 510 athletes a year.

He has teamed up with and trained professional athletes, including Orlando Magic Point Guard DJ Augustin.

Full Screen
1 / 4

Wiggins is the CEO of Atlas Speed Training LLC.

He’s not done yet.

Wiggins is continuing to do what he’s always done: Keep going.

He says his goal is to become known as “Sports Mayor of Orlando.”

Visit ClickOrlando.com/BlackHistoryMonth for more inspirational stories.


About the Author: