Monday, May 28, 2012

The Power of #BELIEVE

Its kind of summer, which means its almost time for the London Olympics. CTV has already started launching their #Believe campaign and its exciting to hear about Canadian olympic hopefuls! As athletes are getting formally delegated and invited to national teams a buzz is beginning to build, like the tide about to come in.

And what better time build a swell of support and pride for Canadian Sport than after Vancouver 2010. The Canadian response was pandemic. Like nothing I've experienced before. I know where I was when Syd the Kid netted the gold medal goal. I remember watching Jon Montgomery celebrate his gold in true Canadian style, and the world media attention that aroused. Got the maple leaf, got the sweater, got the t-shirt #WEBELIEVE

In 1997 when I was 15, I moved to Winnipeg, MB to pursue skating. Mom and dad stayed in Beausejour about an hour away, but with needing to be at the rink at 7am 4x per week and 6:30pm 2x per week its not like I was "by myself" much. My mom worked as a waitress, pretty exclusively to support my skating. To say it was expensive was an understatement. (If I spent as much on tri as they spent on skating...) Anyhow - the point came where we needed some help because the dreams were bigger than the bills.

And that's when I became a marketing major. Sales had always come easy to me (ill do a V2 of this post with some stories - but yes, as a KID sales came easy), so I figured I'd try to sell some of me. Pro athletes did it, why not me. An appeal letter and a copy of a local full page news article covering my exploits was sent to ten businesses I had connection with. Either my parents knew the owners, I'd taught their kids how to skate, something.

And wouldn't you know, most responded positively.

That year including bursaries I raised over $4000 to support my Sport. The money helped big time, but not to the level the emotional support did. The cards, the letters, they rocked my world. Living away from home I felt lonely, like I was on my own, like people from my small town didn't get it.

Today I'm back at my parent's home going through some old boxes and came across this letter and it hit those same heart strings it did fifteen years ago. I don't remember why I gave Dana a package. She could have been the real estate agent that sold my parents their nice little bungalow on Joyce Street, or it could have been that her office was next to a greasy diner I washed dishes at one summer. Either way Dana believed. And when I went to the Canada Games in 1999, I brought her letter with me.

Dear Samuel,
Good luck with your skating -
Your maturity and confidence is way beyond your years! I believe you've got the qualities it takes to become not only successful in your sport; but also in life! Keep focused and AIM HIGH!

YOUR WORDS can make a life long impact. It doesn't even take a card.

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