Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is one of Canada’s most inspirational leaders, a best-selling author and a highly recognizable and beloved athlete. As an elite athlete, child advocate, speaker, writer and life coach, Laumann has made her mark by reaching her own potential and helping others to reach theirs.
Laumann’s Olympic story is legendary and inspirational. As reigning world champion, she fought back from a 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. Laumann was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, having won three Olympic medals and four World Championships. She is also the two-time winner of the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year award and recipient of the Lou Marsh award in 1992, as Canada’s top athlete. Although her competitive rowing career ended in 1999, her ability to inspire continues.
Laumann is authentic and honest about her life journey. In her memoir Unsinkable, Laumann shines a spotlight on all the obstacles she has encountered and overcome. She speaks candidly about her athletic success and triumph over physical adversity, but also the intense personal challenges of her past and the fierce determination she applies to living a bold, loving and successful life today.
Laumann has learned to approach each day with energy and optimism while continuing to dream big. She has used her notoriety to raise money and awareness for a variety of initiatives including: Right To Play International, an organization that brings sport and play to the most disadvantaged children in the world; and GoodLife Kids Foundation, as their Kids Champion, helping to inspire, support and create opportunities for kids to benefit from an active life.
Inspiring, funny, thought-provoking and always down to earth, she opens her heart and leaves her audience ready to unlock their own potential and aspire to their own greatness. What prevails in her is the human spirit, the humour to keep learning through the failures, the courage to see opportunities within obstacles and the tenacity to never stop trying to be better.
Laumann lives in Victoria B.C. with her two children, William and Kate, her husband David Patchell-Evans, and stepdaughters Kilee and Tygre.