The line between celebrity and athletes has grown increasingly blurry over the past number of years. It is common to see athletes on late night TV or attending the latest Hollywood award shows. This environment -- typically reserved for actors and actresses -- has given athletes the opportunity to showcase their fashion sense off the field of play.
While interviewing a Sunnybrook surgeon a few months ago, the topic of superstitions came up. He told me that similar to the general public, superstitions are common among medical practitioners. Studies have shown that superstitions are more prevalent in professions and circumstances with higher degrees of uncertainty.
News that former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen's recent death was ruled a suicide saddened me. There is no doubt in my mind that competitive sports exact a physical and mental toll on professional athletes -- deaths are not just the consequences of a violent game and the long-term nefarious effects of injuries incurred on these athlete's bodies and brains, but a reflection of a society that does not allow for its men to be weak.
While the Pan Am Games do not offer the same marketing value for competing athletes as the Olympics do, the added attention provided a great platform for athletes to showcase their abilities and introduce themselves to the Canadian public. It also provided brands with a chance to scout athletes that could potentially be used in endorsement deals leading up to next summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
If we can learn one thing from the Parapan Am athletes, it's that we can fulfill our dreams and find greatness in the most difficult and unconventional of circumstances. But we need to believe in ourselves, first and foremost. Then we need to follow through with hard work and grit. The Toronto Parapan Am Games will be the largest ever held, with more than 1600 athletes from 28 countries. Attend the Games to support the athletes but, more importantly, to be inspired and empowered by them.
The business world has always been a lot like the world of sports. You work as a team. You face off against competitors. You can win and you can lose. While there is no finish line or final buzzer in business, entrepreneurs require the same single-minded focus and determination to reach their goals. On the eve of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, here are five tips small businesses can learn from the world's best athletes:
During the Olympics, you heard stories of athletes who sustained serious injuries and are back at their sport. But what about when the injuries hit close to home affecting your kids, your friends or yourself? The future is unknown when it comes to injuries and can be filled with chronic pain, disability and rehabilitation. So how can we prevent sport-related injuries?
Last night, tennis fans sat riveted in front of their TV screens, watching 19-year-old Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard, beat former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and triumphantly reach the semifinals of the Australian Open. And after that exhilarating and shocking victory, what did the on-court interviewer ask this dedicated and amazing athlete? Who's the man of your dreams, Eugenie? Who are you crushing on, girl? Because, being a woman, what else could she possibly be interested in? Entrenched sexism needs to be pointed out, ridiculed, and eradicated.
The message that we're sending to our children is loud and clear: we want you to excel at sports, so you'd better do it. We want to see you become an athletic star, regardless of your interest (and often skill level). Until we let go of our collective dreams of athletic super-stardom, of touchdowns and home runs, we will continue to negatively affect our children's psyches.
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.
As an Olympian, I can tell you that nothing quite prepares you for what it is like to compete at the Olympic Games. Perhaps that is why far and few athletes medal at their very first Olympic Games. When it comes to the Olympic Games, be prepared to observe three types of medalists. The first medalist is your favoured athlete, the second your veteran, and the third -- wildcard!
Meet Synchro Canada's senior national team members who are training for the 2012 Olympic Games. I recently caught up with these young women at the Etobicoke Olympium Pool. Check out what they have to say about how they push past fear, their keys to success, their dreams, hopes and the upcoming Olympic Games in this Shannon Skinner Special Report, which is part of an ongoing series of on-location interviews.
The June cover of Vogue, featuring Team USA, has been compared to a scene from the popular TV show, Baywatch. Somehow, even to a mainly female audience, the women athletes in Vogue aren't given the chance to pose as the powerful athletes they are, but are toned down to conform to harmless stereotypes.