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Silken Laumann

Olympian - Inspirational Speaker - Author - Kids Champion

Silken Laumann’s life centres around the fulfillment of human potential. Whether in the world of sport, where she achieved the honour of being the fastest female rower in the world, her work as a child advocate and founder of Silken’s Active Kids’ Movement, or as a speaker, a writer, or a champion of physical activity, Silken Laumann has made her life work reaching her own potential and helping others reach theirs.

Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is one of Canada’s most inspirational leaders, a best-selling author and a highly recognizable and beloved Canadian athlete. As the reigning world champion rower, Silken fought back from a devastating training accident to win a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona – a moment that endeared her forever to Canadian sports fans. Silken was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of fame in 1998, having won 3 Olympic medals and four World Championships. She is also the 2-time winner of the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year award and recipient of the Lou Marsh award in 1991 as Canada’s top athlete. Although her competitive rowing career ended in 1999, her ability to inspire others continues.

Silken is a member of the International Board of Directors for Right to Play, an international development agency dedicated to reintroducing play into the lives of children in disadvantaged areas around the world. Silken has joined GoodLife Kids Foundation as their GoodLife Kids Champion; a private Canadian foundation that envisions a Canada where all kids have the opportunity to benefit from an active life. Through her work with children, Silken was awarded with the 2003 National Child Day Award. In 2006 Silken published the best seller, Child’s Play, an inspirational and simple guide to reconnecting with our kids through play.

Silken is a dynamic inspirational speaker who encourages her audiences to understand the power of our thoughts and intentions, stay connected to our passions and control our own destiny while still being receptive to the unexpected and magical.

Silken lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with her partner and their four children.

More information on Silken Laumann can be found at: www.speakers.ca/laumann_silken.html
Silken Laumann

My Cat Lived Up To The Name 'Mischief.' Today I Say Goodbye

First there was the tin can he found in the neighbours' recycling bin. I am sure it was something yummy, but the 10 stitches in his mouth couldn't have been worth it. Multiple times he has disappeared into small crevices in walls. Last month we lost him for a couple days when he wandered into the crawl space and got locked in.
03/06/2017 12:35 EST
monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images

Speak Out About Depression -- It Makes A Difference

Each one of our stories is important. When we find the courage to have real conversations about our inner worlds, we have the potential of helping another through their struggles. When we reveal our humanity and imperfections, it connects us to one another and create an opening for meaningful, authentic conversations about how we are doing. To have them know and understand they are not alone. I am a mother of four, a wife, an Olympic athlete, a writer, a speaker, a changemaker. I am also someone who has experienced mental illness. I hope that we have the imagination to define one another in our complexity.
09/29/2016 08:15 EDT
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Do You Want To Be Right Or Do You Want To Be Kind?

Kindness matters, I know this, I coach this, I speak about the power of kindness, and yet -- in my primary relationship (you know, that relationship with my husband), being kind seems to be in a wrestling match with being right. Being right just feels so good. It is a lustful emotion, an instinctual one, a need that can be sort of addiction.
06/10/2016 05:47 EDT
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Being A Strong Athlete Didn't Save Me From An Eating Disorder

I know this disorder has many causes, but the agony of starving oneself, the self loathing that comes with it, I wouldn't wish on anyone. Eating disorders are also difficult for families, who may feel powerless to stop it. Like any form of mental illness, intervention is key, getting professional help early and not playing down the severity of the behaviour.
06/02/2016 12:03 EDT
Spencer Wynn via Getty Images

The Youth Of Attawapiskat Have Solutions To Fighting Suicide Crisis

The biggest complaint I hear from teenagers is that we don't take them seriously. The teens of Attawapiskat have made a list of what they have in their community, their community and social assets if you will. Things like a gym, a Healing Lodge, and a school. They have also made another list: 'What we need.' Notice the list was not titled what we want. Need. These children need a Fitness Centre; it was the first thing on their list. The second was a Track and Field facility. More Sports, a Youth Camp and a clean Swimming Pool. We need to listen now, and give them what they need before it's too late.
04/14/2016 01:59 EDT
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Today's Kids Could Use A Lesson In Healthy Competition

I think competition is good for us, and is critical to helping us find performances that we didn't know we had. Sometimes I feel we have become so sensitive about not leaving anybody feeling left out that we have all but obliterated competition in our schools, and to a large degree in our workplaces. Nobody gets recognized, and actually nobody feels special.
02/08/2016 11:35 EST
YouTube

Rick Hansen: A True Saint

Everybody is given the same 24 hours in a day. Today I spent four of those hours walking, running, sometimes limping with the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay. He has done more in one short lifetime than generations of people have done in many. Not only has he raised millions and millions of dollars for spinal cord research, he has championed accessibility around the globe.
05/29/2012 11:53 EDT

Willpower

I am reading a book right now called Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. My partner David thinks this is hilarious, since I am, apparently, the most willful person he has ever met. Rathe...
04/17/2012 09:54 EDT
alamy

Blow Up the School System

I think we should blow up the current school system and start over. Due to cutbacks, my son did not have art in his entire middle school education -- a fact I find unacceptable, but not remarkable. When do we as parents say enough is enough?
03/14/2012 10:53 EDT
alamy

Taking Action on Obesity

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler Jones warns that if we continue on this trajectory by 2023, 70% of Canadians will be overweight or obese. (Calgary Herald) This really got my attention. I...
03/06/2012 09:39 EST
alamy

The Voice of Calm

I was shocked at the level of rage I could feel for all things crowded. I knew this was not about the parking lot, or IKEA, or the stress of my GPS RECALCULATING, RECALCULATING each time I missed a turn. I didn't know what the problem was. I just knew I felt stressed, and harried, and a wee bit resentful.
02/28/2012 03:08 EST

My Autistic Child Has Never Had A Friend

Everybody deserves to have friends, a person or people who love and care about them. For a special needs child, this can be the biggest challenge of all.
02/15/2012 05:15 EST
AP

Can Sports Raise Middle-Eastern Women's Self-Esteem?

In Pakistan, "Right To Play" runs programs in Peshawar and Quetta that have over 20,000 girls regularly playing sport and learning through the power of play. Women and girls who play sport build self-esteem, the very thing that will have them stand up for their rights, not accept abuse, and push for more freedom.
01/24/2012 04:59 EST
Strong4Life

Mom, Why Am I Fat?

Is it cruel to make fun of kids because they are fat? Yes, but it is far more cruel not to help these children and their families identify and address the problem.
01/18/2012 04:55 EST