She has many other achievement which can be used to prove that she is one of the greatest Canadian athletes but what makes her great goes beyond her achievement and awards. Her personal story and success is what makes her a great Canadian athlete, inspiration and role model.
Silken Laumann was Born in November 14, 1964 at Mississauga. She grew up with a mother who was emotionally unstable due to an undiagnosed mental illness, but fortunately enough she had a father who encouraged her to play sports Laumann participated in the 1984 Los Angeles games – Bronze (Double Sculls) 1988 Seoul – 7th (double 1992 Barcelona – Bronze (single sculls) 1996 Atlanta – Silver (Single) 10 weeks before her first Olympics doing single skulls, during one of her warm ups, got into a devastating accident.
A German boat had collided into her row boat and several pieces of wood debris entered into her right leg damaging the muscles and ligaments. She was told by her doctor that the the Olympics was a no-go, she might be able to do rowing recreationally one day and even walking she’ll always have a limp. But she thought to herself that this doctor doesn’t know what she has gone through to make it to that point, so after 5 operations and staying in the hospital for 3 weeks, she continued to train and rehabilitate until the day of the race where she won bronze. And I know you’re thinking she only won bronze how could she be the best Canadian athlete, and in the next summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 she won silver, no gold. But a columnist that was writing about her said ”there have been many great victories in rowing in the last two Olympics in Barcelona and Atlanta but the word go out this day that on these two occasions that the bronze and silver won by Silken Laumann shine as brightly in the midday sun that as any of the gold”. Canadians were so touched to see hear her story of passion, courage and endurance.
After retiring in 1999 Silken continues to win many awards, but is now a life coach, spokesperson, advocate and author, who travels around the world to improve the lives of children. Uses her story to inspire others to imagine, to embrace every opportunity even if faced with adversity Silken Laumann always saw herself being an Olympian, Author and helping children in Africa, and many obstacles came her way, trying to mend a broken childhood, and trying to overcome a major leg injury, but in the end it was the thrilling moments in her life that made her realize her greatest potential. She teaches kid to dream big, and approach each day with energy and optimism, learn through failures and to always be better.