One week later – The Power of More has launched

Power of More Book launch at Ben McNally's books

Signing books at my book launch. Yes that's a Corona by my side and yes - that is Cdn author, Peter C Newman waiting for his!

On May 17th, at Ben McNally’s gorgeous bookstore in downtown Toronto I hosted a little party to celebrate the publication of my book. (Really, if your downtown – pop in. 366 Bay St. 2blks south of Queen. St. It’s kind of a magical place for books.)

For me- it was a very special night. Not just because my book was actually real and being sold but because so many people came to show their support for me. People from so many different corners of my life; my partner, our families, friends from rowing, university, my GirlImpact trip to Africa, the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid, my Tuscany trips, other Olympians and journalists – who came not to work, but as my friends, and so many others.

The plan was to begin greeting people at 5pm and then at around 6:30 I would address the group after that I’d sign books. Corona (Thank you Courtney and CoronaExtra!!), wine and some hors d’oeuvres would be served – I wanted this to be a celebration! As people began to arrive, all my worlds were colliding!  I felt as if I was a dog in a squirrel park! I didn’t know where to focus. How was I to keep everyone happy? Ben McNally, the book store owner, had warned that once I sat at the autograph table I would be stuck there – with no chance left to wander and gab through the crowd. Turns out – that was the perfect thing for me – at the table I only had one person to focus on and that was who ever it was who handed me a book!

I acknowledged a few special people who had come. My parents of course, and Deanah’s parents as well as her sister-in-law and her adorable two nieces. I thanked my aunt and uncle for coming from Vancouver. (It was their 50th anniversary but I was sworn to not make a big deal of it – Happy Anniversary Woody and Sherrill!). Peter C Newman and his wife had come, he’s written 24 books and sold over 2 million copies. I said I’d be happy with a mere million. I got a raised eyebrow and a laugh in return. Brian Williams was there; he’s the legendary canadian broadcaster – he’s covered 13 Olympic Games and I will have the privilege of working with him this summer at the London 2012 Games where I’ll be a Studio Analyst.  Continue reading

My 1st book review!!

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Marnie McBean adds author to resume that already includes mentor and champion

TORONTO – On a recent Italy trip with Canadians who had purchased the “Under the Tuscan Sun” package at an Olympic fundraising dinner, Jim Cuddy and Barney Bentall provided the music while Marnie McBean, Curt Harnett and Chandra Crawford served up the inspiration.

When it was McBean’s turn to talk during “Olympic Athlete Night,” the three-time Olympic rowing champion pulled out her Canadian uniform from the opening ceremonies at the 1992 Games.

The outfit, in her words, was horrendous — technicolour puke. But it remains a valuable teaching tool two decades later.

Coach Al Morrow reminded his disappointed rowers that ugly uniforms and spartan accommodations were not at the heart of their Olympic journey to Barcelona.

“Our rowing was the only thing we needed to worry about,” McBean writes in her new book “The Power of More.” “Everything else was just filler.”

The anecdote comes under the subhead “Remember What Matters.”

McBean’s book is crammed with such nuggets — unique, often off-the-wall anecdotes and life lessons. Continue reading

A reset button for joy and confidence

Two weeks of cycling around Tuscany has come to an end and I’m on my way home. I’m so grateful for the amazing team of Olympic athletes and musicians that I got to ‘work’ with on this unique trip.

After three years of hosting, the cycling team has become a well-oiled macchina. This group consists of Curt Harnett (Olympic Silver and 2x Bronze cyclist), Chandra Crawford (Olympic Gold Nordic Skier), myself, Barney Bentall (musician) and his wife Kath (who together make a powerful pair of cyclists who have explored every hill, town, restaurant and gelato stop in the area!) and Dennis Colborne .

Each week over 80 Canadians joined us for a unique holiday of cycling, food and music. With the help of 4 or 5 Italian guides we explored every up and down of the Chianti Classico region. It’s not really a vacation for us – but then again – how could it not be? The location is spectacular and the people we meet are all so interesting.

As the guests left on the last morning (most likely a little hungover from all the chianti at the closing night Jim Cuddy and Barney Bentall concert!), they were all beaming. This unique vacation had re-connected many of them to the childlike joy and freedom of cycling and because cycling in this area is physically hard, many also found a confidence in themselves too-long forgotten. It was so amazing to watch their transformation. Continue reading

Lucky to remember what’s important

So here I am in Italy having an amazing time. I wake up, eat a fab breakfast, go for a 3hr bike ride that usually includes at least one doppio espresso macchiato and then return to our gorgeous resort-Borgo San Felice. A short bike ride somewhere for a 3hr lunch of caprese salad and a pici pasta and then back for a rest by the beautiful pool. In the evening – if Jim Cuddy isn’t leading us through a wine tasting we go for more delicious food and local Chianti region wines. After dinner Jim, his son’s Devin and Sam and/or Barney Bentall jam at the hotel bar piano. It’s almost too much dolce vita… but then I don’t think there can ever be too much of that! I’m so so lucky. Continue reading