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Between You and Me: Words of Wisdom from Olympic Athletes

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games are over now, but the party continues in Vancouver with the 2010 Paralympic Games held March 12-21, 2010.

In my previous post (My small part in the 2010 Winter Olympics), I mentioned how employees at SAP’s Vancouver office were getting involved. In this Vancouver Sun newspaper article, you can read about how SAP employees are using this occasion to team up with local university students and giving back to the local community. Wow! How do I get involved?

Near the end of the Games, my wife and I were fortunate enough to get invited to a private Olympics celebration. We arrived donning the appropriate Olympics attire, but were quite clueless as to what ‘trouble’ we could get into. When we learned that the entire 2010 Canadian Olymplic Figure Skating team plus former skating Olympians would be there, we were floored! How do you make the most out of this occasion and still have fun?

I’m no autograph-hound (although I did get a few), but since I’ve been doing a few CommunityPROFILES Podcast – Introducing Yaping Gao, SCN Top Contributor for Chinese community interviews lately of active SCN contributors, I thought this may be a good learning experience. I conducted several interviews that I would like to share with you below. Please excuse the star-struck look in my eyes, and the limited tools (digital camera and BlackBerry phone) I had at my disposal to conduct the interviews. (I will be more prepared next time!) I had a lot to learn from these interviews and I hope you will take away some insights as well.



My wife and I talk about this a lot. PERIOD. So I asked David Pelletier (Canadian pairs figure skater, Canadian Champion, World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist in 2002) how important “Passion” is for himself, athletes and people in general. This was what he had to say:



We talk about this all the time at work and home. Do you think “teamwork” is important to Pairs Figure Skating? You bet it is! That’s why I’ve asked David Pelletier’s partner, Jamie Sale to comment on the importance of teamwork:

Just to be sure I got it, I also asked Marie-France Dubreuil (who skates with partner Partrice Lauzon) to talk about “teamwork”:



When we literally cornered Brian Orser, 2-time Olympic Silver Medalist and current coach of Gold Medalist Kim Yu-Na, we asked him what it takes to become a successful athlete. His answer in a word – “Dedication.” Then he explained that athletes like Kim Yu-Na possess a level of dedication that is off-the-charts compare to most people.  Well, that just about dashes my dreams of becoming the next Gold Medalist. But seriously, my take-away is that this type of dedication can only be possible for those who are focused.




So, how do Olympic athletes stay focused? I asked Victor Kraatz, World Champion pairs figure skater, how important focus is for elite athletes.


A few more snapshots of some 2010 Canadian Olympians.


My wife and I with Patrick Chan, World Men’s Silver Medalist.



Joannie Rochette – 2010 Olympics Women’s Bronze Medalist



Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue – 2010 Olympics Pairs Gold Medalists


We may not all be Olympians, but every so often we all deserve to feel like champions!
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  • I loved your compilation about passion, teamwork and drive.. so cool to see this also as part of our community network. I am a bit jealous that I was not there !
    • I wished you could all be there to meet these amazing athletes. These Olympians were extremely generous and let everyone there hold their medals.


  • Olympic athletes demonstrate all these characteristics and, being Canadian, it was simply awe-inspiring how many Gold medals our little piece of the frozen north got! 

    Other than hockey (a game to remember!), Virtue & Moir’s Gold winning performance was simply magic.  Watch the video and see what can be achieve with passion, teamwork, dedication and focus: (Take a look…the best of the best!)

  • Hi Jason,
    It’s great to see examples of dedication and passion paying off in such an enormous way! It looks like you had a really fun time meeting all these fantastic athletes. Plus how often do you get a chance to hold an Olympic gold medal?  🙂 Thanks for sharing with the community!