Marnie McBean is one of our most inspiring Canadians – yes, she’s a rowing champion and one of our favourite Olympians, but now she’s also championing girls’ rights globally with Because I Am a Girl.
Now Marnie McBean promotes girls’ rights worldwide! Photo, courtesy of Because I Am a Girl
This past summer, she acted as an official mentor for the Canadian Olympic team. She’s featured in our October issue of Canadian Living, but when our intern Erin Morawetz interviewed her she had so much to say, we thought we’d tell you a bit more about Marnie, her mentoring ways, her new book, The Power of More, and her memories of each of her Olympic Games.
Because if there’s one thing that Marnie does well – other than row, that is – it’s inspire. Read on…
Toronto Star article, by Dave Peschuk, published July 11, 2012
In the nearly 20 years since Marnie McBean struck double rowing gold at the Barcelona Olympics, she has cycled in Tuscany, written a book, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (twice) and introduced herself to Sidney Crosby as the border collie of the Canadian Olympic team.
The latter achievement came in Vancouver in 2010, when McBean was fulfilling her ongoing role as a mentor to Canada’s Olympians. It was Day 4 of the Games. Canada’s Mike Robertson had just won silver in snowboard cross and was heading back to the athletes’ village.
McBean wanted Robertson to return to a well-populated celebration in the village’s main lobby. Ever the brash extrovert, she began corralling athletes into an elevator en route.
“The elevator happened to stop on the men’s hockey floor. And suddenly, there’s Sidney Crosby and a few of his teammates standing in front of us,” McBean said. “The elevator was pretty full and they weren’t going to get in. I was like, ‘Get in.’ And they’re looking at me. And I’m like, ‘No, just get in.’ Read on…
More and more I’ve been getting on my bike. Around Toronto I’m mostly on a beat up old mtn bike because I think it handles the cracked up roads and sidewalks while allowing me to defensively ride amongst the cars. (Please Mayor Ford- don’t give up on dedicated bike lanes!) Recently, my partner and I got road bikes and we’re loving the freedom and the workout that they provide us. Urban, sub-urban and country rides – we’re having a blast.
My good friend Kevin Wallace (featured in all of my adventure racing stories) and the gang at Gears Bike shop have set me, and some of my Olympic peers up on some sweet Cannondale bikes. Gears hopes to show everyone how much joy and adventure can come from a bike – we all use them differently – for travel, transport and play… but almost everyone has ridden a bike with child like joy. If you haven’t been on one lately… give it a try.
I absolutely love this video (and the whole series of others) that Gears has put together.