Silken Laumann
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:

Entries by Silken Laumann

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

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2017 | 11:35 AM

Our family cat Mischief is aptly named. Ten pounds of tabby trouble, this cat has cost us a small fortune in vet bills in his short life. 

First there was the tin can he found in the neighbours' recycling bin. I am sure it was something yummy, but the 10 stitches...

Read Post

Speak Out About Depression -- It Makes A Difference

(2) Comments | Posted September 29, 2016 | 8:15 AM

frame of mind banner

Teenagehood: First jobs, first romantic relationship, first heartbreak, first real academic pressure, first financial responsibility. If we as parents and adults were experiencing all these things for the first time, it would probably overwhelm us.


Read Post

We Have Forgotten How To Do The Most Natural Thing In The World

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 11:05 AM

To breathe, it's the most natural thing in the world, or so they say. Years ago, watching my baby boy sleeping, breathing seemed a whole body activity. His belly expanded like a balloon when he breathed in, his belly pushed downward as he exhaled. When I watched him I felt...

Read Post

Do You Want To Be Right Or Do You Want To Be Kind?

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2016 | 5:47 PM

I want to be kind, I really do. Kindness matters, I know this, I coach this, I speak about the power of kindness, and yet -- yes, and yet.

In my primary relationship (you know, that relationship with my husband), being kind seems to be in a wrestling match...

Read Post

Being A Strong Athlete Didn't Save Me From An Eating Disorder

(2) Comments | Posted June 2, 2016 | 12:03 PM

Two years ago, I shared my struggles with anorexia and disordered eating by writing a book, Unsinkable. Journalists in the following weeks expressed disappointment that another athlete had an eating disorder. They had held me up as a strong woman who went after her dreams, and suddenly I was sharing...

Read Post

We Need To See Ourselves In The Mentally Ill

(5) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 4:10 PM

Here is a thought. Until we can see ourselves in the mentally ill we will not stand up and fight for better care, increased awareness, and greater funding. As long as we stand to one side and not recognize that we are all vulnerable, that mental illness can happen to...

Read Post

The Youth Of Attawapiskat Have Solutions To Fighting Suicide Crisis

(9) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 1:59 PM


My heart swells when I read about the youth of Attawapiskat and the recent suicide pact that was thwarted by the quick actions of police, local services and community. I am the mother of four teenagers ranging from 16 to 20 years old....

Read Post

Today's Kids Could Use A Lesson In Healthy Competition

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 10:35 AM

It seems to me that the word "competitive" is getting a bum rap in today's school systems and sports programs. 
When I was growing up in primary school, there were awards for top marks and effort -- there was the most improved student, the award for highest...

Read Post

Sharing My Mental Health Story Was Tougher Than Olympic Competition

(6) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 8:57 AM

I get excited about Bell Let's Talk day. It's a day when we give ourselves permission to have open conversations about mental illness. Kudos to Clara Hughes and the team who championed this initiative from the start, and in a few short years pried the conversation about mental health wide...

Read Post

Celebrate Your New Year By Acknowledging Your Past Success

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 3:55 PM

The New Year, with its talk of goals, resolutions, and new beginnings, can be alternatively inspiring and anxiety producing. What if you don't have a clear goal or resolution for 2016? Maybe you're one of those people who's never kept a New Years Resolution? Statistically, this is a big per...

Read Post

The Meaning Of Christmas Extends Beyond Family

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2015 | 8:21 AM

I wonder if the tide is turning about Christmas. This year, it seems that more is being written about putting the meaning back in Christmas. This is pretty dicey territory, because Christmas does in fact have different meaning for different people.

To many, Christmas marks the birth of Christ...

Read Post

Rick Hansen: A True Saint

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 11:49 AM

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. The relay celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour while also bringing together 7,000...

Read Post


(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 9:54 AM

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.

Rather than argue with him or elaborate on the difference between willpower...

Read Post

Blow Up the School System

(17) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 10:52 AM

I think we should blow up the current school system and start over.

I said this to a teacher friend of mine this morning; a man who is taking a year of medical leave for a stress disorder akin to burnout. Blow it up; start over. There is so...

Read Post

Taking Action on Obesity

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 8:38 AM

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 know Dr. David Butler Jones; he is a fine man, not prone to hyperbole....

Read Post

The Voice of Calm

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 2:08 PM

Every now and again I read a quotation that stops me in my tracks. Yesterday, one came through on my BlackBerry as I was sifting through the chaos of my Monday morning.

There I was enjoying my morning almond milk latte, fighting off a sore throat, the fatigue of...

Read Post

My Autistic Child Has Never Had A Friend

(4) Comments | Posted February 15, 2012 | 4:15 PM

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. Kilee is profoundly autistic; she is 15 years old and has never had a friend. Kilee has limited language abilities so she...

Read Post

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

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 6:59 AM

When I opened the Globe and Mail this week, I was absolutely delighted to see the centre section with a two- page spread of the intense faces of three female Iranian athletes in the full concentration of a rugby game. The intensity and sheer physical determination of these...

Read Post

Mom, Why Am I Fat?

(2) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 3:55 PM

A teen boy sits opposite his mother and asks this question in an advertisement running in Georgia. The next caption says 75 per cent of Georgia parents with overweight kids don't recognize the problem. Stop sugarcoating it, Georgia.

The ad is shocking, as are all the other ads...

Read Post

Things I Am Proud of in 2011

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 11:33 AM

I am writing my list: the list of all the things I am proud I have accomplished in 2011. It sounds kind of inspiring, but in fact it encompasses mostly modest things like giving up running yellow lights, reducing my sugar intake and taking good care of my dog after...

Read Post