Success breeds success. If you’re looking for proof of that, meet INEOS’ Andy Bell,father to two world-class ice skaters
SPORTS do not build character; they reveal it.
One man who would agree with the late basketball player John Wooden’s sentiment is INEOS’ Andy Bell.
He is father to two girls – both of whom are worldclass ice skaters.
“The most important thing was that they became better people,” he said. “We did not have any interest in raising prima donnas.“
His eldest daughter Morgan, 25, skates for Disney on Ice and travels the world playing Anna from the fi lm Frozen. His youngest daughter Mariah, 20, is now a serious contender to make next year’s US Olympic team.
Andy and his wife Kendra understand the importance of having a strong work ethic. And it’s something they have passed down to their children.
“You have to love the grind of training and hard work,” said Andy. “You have to be passionate about what you do. We never focused on their results but rather their work ethic and the effort they put in. It’s a marathon not a sprint. So many parents of young athletes fail to realise that and push their kids. Sadly most of them never last very long.”
Andy is equally as passionate about his work with INEOS.
He was instrumental in helping INEOS to secure deals with American companies as part of its ground-breaking decision to ship shale gas from the US to Europe.
For almost six years he worked tirelessly on what became known as the Mariner Project, leading the negotiations for the 15-year terminal and supply agreements.
“In the early days we faced a lot of industry scepticism about our ability to pull the project off,” he said. “But many of the relationships, which started from cold calls, are now very strategic partnerships.”
There were dark days, though, and to cope Andy drew inspiration from his daughter.
“Many times, when things were not going well, I found a lot of strength thinking about Mariah’s journey in skating, the high and lows, and how if you keep pressing on with your head high you will ultimately succeed,” he said.
The only downside to his job is that he spends most of the week in Houston, Texas, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia – about 1,000 miles from the family home in Monument, Colorado.
“It’s hard but my primary support role is to fund, as best I can, her pursuits, providing her the best coaching and training environment we can afford,” he said. “My wife carries the heavy load of day-to-day support and she is amazing.”
He said sacrifi ces had been made.
“There have been a lot, but our primary goal as parents has always been to support our girls to pursue their passions,” he said. “And I cannot think of a more important endeavour.”