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Kristina Groves

Four-time Olympic speed skating medalist

Four-time Olympic speed skating medalist Kristina Groves started skating when she was 11 because she wanted to distinguish herself from her ski-crazed family.

Twenty years later, in 2007-08, Kristina produced a season to remember, collecting 18 World Cup medals culminating in her first overall title (1500m), a World Championship bronze medal, and an historic five-medal performance at the World Single Distance Championships including gold in the 3000m.

In 2008-2009, Kristina continued her success on the ice, winning her second overall title in the 1500m and producing a three-medal performance at the World Single Distance Championship and Olympic test event at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

At the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Kristina carried a heavy load competing in five events, capturing a silver and a bronze medal to add to the Olympic silver medal in the women's 1500m and Team Pursuit event at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

Outside of skating, Kristina is passionate about philanthropic and environmental issues. As an accomplished public speaker and mentor, Kristina visits several elementary schools each year with the Youth Education through Sport program (YES). She is an active environmentalist, committed to limiting her footprint on the earth and donating her time and money to the Clean-Air Champions Campaign.

More information on Kristina can be found at: www.speakers.ca/groves_kristina.html.

BLOG: Wake up and Smell the Coal Alberta!

If a new Pembina Institute report released this week is any indication, we Albertans have happily, if unwittingly, kept the wool pulled down over our eyes when it comes to acknowledging the primary fuel that powers our lives. To wit, fully 64 per cent of the electricity generated in Alberta comes from burning the most inefficient and dirty of all fossil fuels: coal.
03/27/2013 04:53 EDT
AP

What Drives an Athlete?

What is it that makes some athletes persevere while others give up? What drives an athlete at all? It's of course impossible to know if an athlete will 'make it' until they actually do but, in my mind, the root of this perseverance is planted in four simple things: a love of the sport, the desire to improve, being satisfied with small, incremental improvements and patience. In a word -- grit.
12/08/2012 09:27 EST

We Need More Tough Coaches Like Mike Spracklen

Central to the departure of coach Mike Spracklen from Rowing Canada, it seems, was his style, methods and standards. By all accounts, it was not an entirely agreeable decision to let him go. What does it say about a system that caters to the chirpers and prodders who didn't achieve what they wanted, instead of propping up the ones who got the results?
10/09/2012 05:25 EDT
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Chanelling Randy Starkman

Since his sudden and tragic passing in April, Randy Starkman's Olympics Blog has faithfully remained in the top left spot of my computer's web browser favourites page. We'd all grown to rely on Randy for his insight, inside scoop and eloquent storytelling of Olympic Canadiana, and it seems unjust, and impossible even, that in London his voice will be silent.
07/28/2012 04:57 EDT

How the Wildrose Part Tamed My Heart

I can educate myself, and get the information I need to make an intelligent, informed decision, and in the end the right choice is the one that best aligns with your values, and who you are. Going against what you truly believe is a slight to the principles of democracy.
05/04/2012 06:14 EDT

Randy Starkman: Big Heart, Big Results

Just prior to the Olympics in Vancouver, Randy Starkman wrote an article about me with the headline "Big Heart, Big Results." When I think of Randy and what he meant to me, to Canadian Olympic athletes and to the entire amateur sport community, the one word that comes to mind is: ditto. The shocking news of his death yesterday was so devastatingly tragic. Canadian athletes have lost their voice.
04/17/2012 05:18 EDT

My Most Meaningful Skate Wasn't at the Olympics

After the community feast in Sheshegwaning First Nation, as we were preparing to drive back to Sudbury, one of the girls I met asked me if I was ever coming back. I replied that yes, maybe one day I would make it back there for another visit. Still unsure of my impact, I asked the girl why she wanted me to come back. And she said, "Because nobody ever comes here."
03/31/2012 09:20 EDT

Sidney Crosby and Me: A Concussionary Tale

I don't claim for one minute to understand the weight of expectation that now sits heavily on Sidney Crosby's shoulders. I can however empathize with everyone else who has ever been through a concussion that the lingering risk is not something easily forgotten.
11/22/2011 02:01 EST

The Spark Is Gone

Continuing to compete wouldn't be fair to those who support me or to my coaches and teammates or, most importantly, to myself. It took a healthy dose of brutal honesty for me to admit that no matter how I slice it, I always come back to the same thing: it is quite simply, sadly, happily, the end.
09/22/2011 01:17 EDT
AP

Norway Is Beautiful/Norge er Skjønn

Norwegian culture is a thread woven through the cloth of my Canadian childhood, and I am heartened, proud even, of Norway's stalwart response to the attacks. But it's easy for an idealist like me to get disillusioned by the endless problems we seem to face these days. How are we going to fix this?
07/27/2011 11:37 EDT

How Old Is Too Old to Play?

We should all be so lucky, not only to live until the age of 91, but also to thrive and endure and play slo-pitch!
07/11/2011 01:32 EDT