Ask your children what sport they'd like to try, and try to find a way to make it happen. Get inspired as parents -- model an active lifestyle yourself and encourage your children to get active. The Olympics are a 4-year energizing catalyst to the imperative that we need to support this nation's children to get inspired and to get active.
What Olympic athletes also have in common, whether or not they win medals, is passion, desire, ambition, hunger, determination, confidence and grit. They're not afraid to dream big... Why, then, do so many of us limit ourselves, hold ourselves back, restrict ourselves to "modest" goals -- only to look back at our lives and wonder what might have been?
As a parent you don't set out to raise a high-performance athlete, you set out to raise a good kid who will mature into an honourable and productive adult. As he was growing up, I didn't really know that my son, Andre De Grasse, would be one of Canada's top track and field athletes on his way to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games!
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: