Role Model spotlight: Silken Laumann

Role Model spotlight: Silken Laumann

Three-time Olympic medalist Silken Laumann is a Canadian national treasure renowned for her prowess as a rower. Author of Unsinkable: My Untold Story, she experienced one of the greatest comebacks in Canadian history. Today she is a motivational speaker, coach, and mother. Get inspired by Silken and help us welcome her to the #AfLfamily.

Q&A with Silken Laumann

AfL: What is your biggest fear?

Silken Laumann: Not using my life well.

AfL: What is your proudest moment?

Silken Laumann: Winning the World Championship in 1991. It was a tough race, a huge head wind and the lead changed several times during the race. I had come through so much to just get to the starting line, and the race was an epic fight; winning a gold medal was hard won.

AfL: What is your favourite way to spend time with family?

Silken Laumann: Definitely playing. When my kids were little we used to run down a huge hill near our home and try to outpace our family golden retriever. My kids could run up and down that hill six times in a row, laughing the whole way. We climbed out the upstairs window and lay on the roof at night watching the stars. Today we hike, ski, jump off the dock together. The best time is when we are playing outside in some way.

AfL: What is your favourite season and why?

Silken Laumann: I love autumn. The leaves changing colour is spectacular, but it is more the nostalgia of autumn I like — the looking back at summer with gratitude, the enjoying of each beautiful day knowing winter will soon be here.

AfL: What is your favourite physical activity?

Silken Laumann: Cross country skiing. Even though I was a far more talented rower, I love being out in the quiet and beauty of winter in the forest.

AfL: Some other little-known fact about you that you’d like to share?

Silken Laumann: I love reading. I read a book or two a week and when I don’t have a book somewhere close by, I can actually feel anxious that I will have nothing to read.

AfL: Please tell us in a few words why you’re excited to be an AfL Role Model?

Silken Laumann: I have been passionate about the importance of physical activity and play ever since my two children were born. I understand how important play and movement is to developing fully as humans. We literally need to move, to use our imagination, and to play with others. Play and sport help strengthen our bodies, but just as importantly, it is a joyful activity that builds connection between people — when we play a game of road hockey together, for example, we get to know our neighbours and neighbourhood.

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