How do you make a career so special it makes Hall of Fame Status?

Tessa Virtue, Marnie McBean and Scott Moir at the Ice Dancers induction into Canada's Sport Hall of Fame
Tessa Virtue, Marnie McBean and Scott Moir at the Ice Dancers induction into Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame 2023

Congratulations to this year’s inductees to Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame

I love listening to speeches; wedding speeches, acceptance speeches, team bonding speeches – all speeches. They are such a great opportunity to peak into people’s hearts and minds regarding building relationships, performance, values and resilience. Last week in Ottawa – at the presentation of the Order of Sport – the induction ceremony into Canada’s Hall of Fame – there was such an abundance of thoughtful reflection. Here is some of what I heard;

Hiroshi Nakamura, Judo Coach, Builder
“The importance of ambition AND objective” …. This one really stuck with me…. ambition is great — but it needs an objective! When you’re confronted with challenge, it’s not enough to know what you want. Resilience is nurtured by WHY you want it.

Danielle Peers, Para Wheelchair Basketball, Athlete.
“Advocacy is a team sport too” … It takes the support of many to make change happen. Allyship takes many forms – Be an ally and an advocate as often as you are able.

Tessa Virtue Scott Moir, Figure Skating/Dance, Athletes
Whether you hear this as a parent or a leader….This nugget is all about building the next generation… ”They took timely steps back so that we could step into our power. You trusted us.” As part of their thank you to their families Scott and Tessa recognized the importance of trust.  (Thank you to Scott and Tessa for the wonderfully kind things you shared about my support of your careers, it’s been quite a ride since 2009!)

Georges St Pierre, Mixed Martial Arts, Athlete
“I am alone in the octagon but not in my preparation. (Thank you) to my friends who were there for who I am, not what I do.” Authentic and transparent support was what GSP appreciated from his friends and inner circle.

Randy Ferbey and the Ferbey four, Curling, Athletes
Another comment on the value and importance of the team behind the team came from Randy Ferby as he spoke on behalf of his curling rink about their spouses, “Thank you for believing in our dreams and goals more than we did at certain times”.

Oren Lyons Lacrosse, athlete, Builder
I’ll close with simple yet powerful perspective about our place and our goals from 93 y old Indigenous elder Oren Lyons; “Try hard. Do good. Be a good example. In our cosmology lacrosse has been played on the other side of the stars when this earth was still covered with water. (It’s not just sport) It is part of our creation story”

Try hard. Do good. Be a good example.

full video of the ceremony

The Art of Leadership: Love It or Hate It

Last week, Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) announced that Mike Spracklen, an internationally renowned rowing coach would no longer be part of its coaching staff and it has put most rowers, and those who follow rowing, into one of two camps. You either think it is a good thing, or a terrible thing; it is very difficult to be in the middle.

Mike Spracklen has had a brilliant career as a coach and is passionate about the movement and effort of rowing. His thoughts and directions to his crews often sound poetic. He is an artist and like most art – discussion of it can be very polarizing.

The situation leads me to remember a play I saw in London a few years ago called Art. It was a one-act play – a kind of British-Seinfeld discussion where one of the three characters had recently purchased a very expensive piece of art. With great pride he showed his beloved new painting to his best friend who absolutely hated it. “It is a white paining with white diagonal stripes. How could you possibly have spent so much money on such a thing?” The comical yet heated play that followed discussed how they could remain friends if they were so opposite on whether this was art or not. Continue reading