Why do you love Calgary?
Calgary is the place I came to fulfill my childhood dream and it’s turned into the community that I’ve built my dream life. Everyone in Calgary was so supportive of me when I was an athlete training here for eight years and respected my pursuit of excellence way more than they worried about my nationality. I really respected that. Now that I’m a has-been Olympian, the city has embraced and supported the dream and goals of Classroom Champions for kids not only in the city but across Western Canada. This is a place where people believe in each other and they look for ways to help each other. That doesn’t happen everywhere and we should really recognize it.
Oh – and the mountains that I abuse for fly fishing and skiing certainly help as well!
Why do you work so hard for the Calgary Community?
I work so hard for the Calgary Community because I believe in it. I believe, as our motto at Classroom Champions says, that kids have what it takes. They just need someone who believes in them. I believe we have the ability at Classroom Champions to provide kids what they need to succeed so I want to give every student we can those tools.
What is the most daring thing you’ve seen Calgarians do to help each other out?
When I think of daring to help each other out, I think of the Classroom Champions students at Sherwood Elementary. Eight year old students were brave and daring enough to knock on elderly neighbours doors to ask if they could shovel their walk – for free. With their teacher looking on, it is very brave to knock on a stranger’s door and offer to help them. I think of the grade four students at Pineridge Elementary who stood up to lead the school in a food drive, and a blanket drive and production, to help their follow Calgarians who needed their help the most. For kids, who aren’t the oldest at their schools, to stand up and lead to help others – that is brave.