Silken Laumann GoodLife Kids Champion 

Silken Laumann’s life centres around the fulfillment of human potential.  Whether in the world of sport, where she achieved the honour of being the fastest female rower in the world, her work as a child advocate, as a speaker, a writer, or a life coach, Silken has made her work reaching her own potential and helping others reach theirs.

Silken’s Olympic story is legendary and inspirational. As reigning world champion, Silken fought back from her devastating rowing accident, to win a bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.  Her stunning 10 week recovery and her courage in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, endeared her in the hearts of Canadians.

Silken’ s life outside of sport is equally inspiring.  Her ability to dream, to embrace change, and work through obstacles have helped her create a magical life.  Silken understands the incredible power of the mind and helps her audiences shift their thinking and unlock the positive power of the conscious and unconscious mind.  Learning to parent her profoundly autistic step daughter, and balancing a fulfilling career with a vibrant family life, these challenges have tested what it means to approach each day with energy and optimism while continuing to dream big. 

Inspiring, funny, thought provoking and always down to earth, Silken Laumann opens her heart and leaves her audience ready to unlock their own potential and aspire to their own greatness.

“We are still feeling the effect of your inspirational speech” – Cindy

“Your speech was World Class” – Starbucks

“We are never as alone as we think, as we hear about your struggles, accomplishments, dreams and unsinkable spirit” – Michael Smith

Silken has used her notoriety to raise money and awareness for a variety of causes and initiatives.  She is an advocate for healthy active kids, and works with GoodLife Kids Foundation as their Kids Champion to advance these opportunities.  Silken was a 15-year member on the International Board of Directors for Right to Play, an organization that brings sport and play to the most disadvantaged children in the world.  She is active in raising issues related to mental health, has adopted autism as a passion along with her husband David Patchell-Evans, and is a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines.Silken is the author of two bestselling books, Child’s Play: 

Silken is the author of two bestselling books, Child’s Play: Rediscovering the joy of play in our families and communities, and Unsinkable: My Untold Story, a surprising and inspiring story of courage, perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit.

Silken lives in Victoria with her husband David Patchell-Evans and their 4 children, William, Tygre, Kate, and Kilee.

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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