Going to Sochi – a chat with Matt Galloway (CBC radio)

Metro Morning with Matt GallowayOn CBC radio – Metro Morning

 January 28, 2014

Olympic Mentor

With so much bad press coming out of Russia, how do you keep athletes focused on the podium, and not the controversies? Matt Galloway spoke with three-time Olympic champion, Marnie Mc Bean. She is the author of “The Power Of More”.
Listen audio (runs 6:31)
(Note- My apologies – if I knew how to embedded this file and NOT autoplay – I would have. MMcB)

Being a Role Model – with pride

When asked if I wanted to be on the Canadian Olympic Committee’s float at the Toronto Pride Parade, I found myself, not for the first time, questioning what it really means to be a role model.

school presentationThe first time I found myself considering if I was a role model I was 24 years old, a World and Olympic Champion, and talking about believing in yourself and being brave enough to chase your dreams. Just back from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, I was talking to a group of grade 9 and 10 students about the ups and downs that preceded winning my 2 new shiny gold medals. Amid all the typical/easy questions like, “Are they made of real gold?”, “Where do you keep your medals?” or “How old were you when you started rowing?”…came a zinger. A student stood up, looked at me quite earnestly and asked, “Do you see yourself as a role model?”

I wanted to laugh – me? (Ha!) Sure I had won a race or two but a role model? I was just a rower; and when not rowing I thought of myself as really ‘normal’ and often lazy. I knew all of my flaws; I knew how much better I thought I could be – a better rower, a better friend, a better person. My inner-voice answered ‘no way’ to the role model question. But before I answered aloud I thought it through. What is a role model? Who were mine?

To me, role models demonstrate behaviours that we hope that we will demonstrate in the same, often challenging, situations. I couldn’t think of one person that was my all-encompassing role model – but I could think of many people and the different things that they had accomplished or said that I thought were pretty cool.

I’ve seen acts of focus, strength, kindness, bravery, generosity, humour, intelligence and thoughtfulness that have inspired me. I have tremendous admiration for those who have built and demonstrate strong, loving and lasting relationships. I want and hope for all of that. I watch people who demonstrate these traits and, when possible, I try to emulate them.   Continue reading