One of the biggest rewards of becoming an Olympian has been the opportunity to share my journey and encourage people young and old to set goals and follow their dreams.
Whenever I speak to a group I always make a point of emphasizing the need to not only dream big but to pursue it with determination and perseverance. Success doesn’t happen overnight and I think it’s very important to share with kids the amount of work required, the many ups and downs, the obstacles to overcome and sacrifices along the way. I want them to know that these bumps in the road are to be expected with such a big dream and they are, in a way, what makes achieving dreams so special.
I spend the majority of the year traveling all over the world but when my season winds down each fall I always devote a significant amount of time to community events. In the last year I have done speaking engagements with local triathlon clubs and elementary school visits. Other communities events include the Share the Road memorial ride in Milton, the Oakville Santa Clause parade, and attending a kids “backyard” triathlon race. During each of these events I had the chance to interact with families, share my joy of sport and the importance of physical activity, and even sign some autographs. On top of these engagements I am also an ambassador for Cycle Oakville, a community based initiative in my hometown that promotes bicycle safety and awareness while also encouraging physical activity. I have been involved with this organization since 2012 and continue to work closely with them promoting the initiative and taking part in local events on an ongoing basis.
As of 2014 I’m very excited to announce my involvement with the organization Classroom Champions. The initiative is to help kids recognize their potential, set goals and dream big.