What we cover: In 2006, my husband Chad and I got bitten terribly by the Ironman bug. The vibe, the paradigm-busting, the goals set and achieved. And all of this on a backdrop of the incomparable voice of Ironman Canada's long-time, much-adored announcer, Steve King. However, the more we got to know about Steve, the more we realized his contribution to Ironman was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A decorated ultra-endurance athlete himself (we are talking world class race walker, ultra-marathoner, and UltraMan competitor, etc etc and yes, etc), Steve has leant his passion and talent to countless events in the capacity of race announcer, and as an often-heard commentator for media outlets including CBC, TSN, ESPN, and CTV, and was listed as one of this country's Top 50 Most Influential People in Triathlon. He is a multi-time author, enthusiastic musician, and well-respected addictions counsellor in his hometown of Penticton, British Columbia. In our exclusive chat, this fascinating man also discusses his career on the London Stock Exchange and as a Private Investigator (Steve King, P.I., indeed!) in the UK. And shares the most shocking revelation of all: Steve King, known for his long, wavy locks of thick Tom Seleck-like hair, once had an afro. (True story.) Internationally respected, it's no surprise Steve was listed as Next of Kin when a friend was heading off on a bit of a journey... into outer space. (How many people have been listed as Next of Kin to a flipping astronaut heading out on a mission? Steve has.) (I guess that would make him inter-galactically respected?) There is only one word to describe him, and it's no exaggeration. Steve King = Legend.
In 1984, as a 12-year-old girl, I watched the Los Angeles Olympic Games in Avondale, Newfoundland, with my uncle Heath MacDonald. Sadly, he would die one year later. In 2009, I had the extreme good fortune of being part of the marketing team of one of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games' media sponsors. In that capacity, our goal was to create a language around the games. When we talked, as a group, about what the Olympics meant to us, I shared the memory of me and my uncle in 1984. But of all the events that held us most riveted that summer, I shared, it was the women's 3000 metre race that most captured us. In this episode, I chat with the bronze medal winner of that event, and what it was like for her to have to quickly regain focus immediately after Mary Decker's famous fall, and the controversy that would ensue. Two-time Olympian, Lynn Kanuka (and her awesome dog, Mogley) join me for tea, a lot of laughs, what it takes to defeat the negative voices in our heads -- and by the end of our chat, the dog was wearing her medal.
If there’s something on this planet that’s more inspiring than the concept of those who rise again after they fall, well, I’m afraid I just don’t know what it is. And perhaps no other Canadian athlete most exemplifies the notion of “the comeback” quite like four-time Olympic rower, three-time Olympic medalist, Silken Laumann. After a horrific 1992 rowing accident that all but completely destroyed her leg, she was told there was a strong chance that she would never row again. The thing of it all? This was 10-weeks out from the Barcelona Olympic Games, and Silken had every intention of being there. With goal setting, visualization, and pure grit (including several hospital procedures and intense rehab), Silken made it to Barcelona, and to a medal finish at that. We talk about her challenging childhood years, redefining fear, and what the Olympics mean to her.
After I attacked him at our mutual neighbour’s house and begged him to be a Guest Titan, Mark and I talk Olympic fever and, in particular, all things luge. In fact, Mark is one of Britain’s most successful Luge racers, having raced in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turino. In Salt Lake, he achieved his goal of being the highest ranked finisher from a country without a home track. Proudly self-funded for the majority of his 12 year career, he was told he was too old to pursue a career in luge when he switched from pole vaulting to luge at 21 years of age. Mark is two-time Commonwealth Champion and six-time British Champion. Despite a fracture in his spine in 2001, through hard physical work and a fierce competitive spirit this humble but competitive dynamo overcame all this prior to his two Olympic Games. During his luge career he raced in every World Cup but one -- due to injury -- and all Major Championships, winning Great Britain’s first international Luge gold medal in 2004 in the Lake Placid Nations Cup. The cherry on top of all this awesomeness? Mark just happens to also have been a Marks & Spencer child model. True story.
There aren’t too many moments in our planet’s history that inspire or connote the meaning of greatness more so than the Olympic Games. With Rio 2016 – the 31st Olympiad – just days away, I sit down for tea with this super star, Nikola Girke. The Rio games will be her fourth – not a typo – Olympic Games. While this year, she and her sailing partner, Luke Ramsay, will be representing Canada on the Nacra 17, a wee but powerful catamaran, in Olympics past she has represented Canada in both the 470 sailing and RS:X windsurfing disciplines. This makes her not only an over-achiever, but an over-achiever-cubed. When she is not being a talented and disciplined and dedicated non-TV-watching Olympian, she is a huge supporter of causes including Fast and Female, the 60 Minutes Kids Club, and KidsSport, to name a few. We talk Netflix (and her limited knowledge thereof), her special friend Felix, and her life motto: Dare to dream. Dare to achieve. Dare to succeed. And she gives an insiders take on the Olympic Opening ceremonies. Gahhhh!