October 19, 2018
The past few weeks have provided me with one of the most rewarding and motivating experiences of my career. I had the privilege of being selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee to act as Chef de Mission for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I would like to thank the COC and the selection committee for this treasured opportunity.
When I ended my athletic career, I set myself the goal of remaining active in sports and the Olympic movement and of continuing to encourage new generations of athletes in all sports. Thanks to the COC’s decision, I was able to achieve this dream.
Over the past few days, the members of the Canadian team and I have shared a wide range of emotions. I had the opportunity to provide encouragement to our young athletes in moments of both joy and sadness. I cheered them through exceptional performances and stood with them in moments of disappointment.
I hope the athletes come away from these Games with wonderful memories as well as valuable life lessons. I tried to impress upon them the importance of practicing their sport with integrity and of always respecting their opponent.
Regardless of their results, this event was an exceptional springboard for these young people. Before the closing ceremonies, I told them the following:
“If your performance was outstanding, have the strength to find out how you can improve further. Following a victory, your finish line should always become your starting line. For those of you whose results were not what you had hoped for, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. Ask yourself what went wrong in your performance and how you can improve it. I hope your disappointment becomes a source of motivation for you.”
As for me, I’m leaving Argentina filled with pride and hope. Canada has a promising future in sport! I hope to be able to accompany the Canadian team again soon!
Go get it!