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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#FEELGOODFRIDAY "You can do it!" yells 10-year-old Arabella as she cheers on her peers who are tackling riding bikes for the first time. Arabella has cerebral palsy, which causes her to lose her balance easily, but give this girl a set of wheels and she can keep up with any kid her age. Several years ago, Arabella had the chance to try out a balance bike with larger wheels. With advice from an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist, her family ordered her a customized bicycle, and she hasn’t stopped since. Thanks to a GoodLife Kids Grant, families in Winnipeg can continue to try out specially adapted kids' bicycles at the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation. “Many children with physical disabilities end up sitting on the sidelines while their family and friends are being active. We find a bike that works for them and help them get active and join in on the fun,” said Christine Schollenberg, executive director. There are bicycles with all kinds of adaptations to suit various needs - like head support, trunk support and low riders for kids who need more stability. Once families find the right bike for their child, they can order one of their own with funding through the program. Arabella’s father Trevor says the adapted bicycle was the starting point for Arabella discover her love of cycling. She's since grown out of her balance bike and plans to donate it back to the centre so another little girl can enjoy it. “Now we ride together as a family and Arabella has a regular bike," says Trevor. "We learned that she doesn’t have to restrict what she does. Arabella can do almost anything a kid without disabilities can. That’s been a huge boost to her confidence and physical abilities and it’s brought our family together.”

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