Keynote Presentation: Silver Linings: Living the Up Side of Down

February 24, 2016 | Vancouver

Silken Laumann, Olympic Hero

Silken Laumann’s greatest mentor and coach once said to her “every cloud has a silver lining.” This expression came in handy when she sat in a sinking boat wondering if she was going to lose her lower leg, never mind compete at the Olympics in ten weeks’ time. Five years later, when her husband left her without warning, she remembers thinking, “where the heck is the silver lining in this one?”

Silken is no stranger to adversity: living with a mother who suffered from mental illness gave her strength and resiliency that has shaped the course of her life. She believes our experiences are gifts that shape us. Challenge, loss, and change are hard, but there are huge lessons in the experience. To throw away the learning of the journey is throwing away the gift that comes along with the pain. Silken shares her story with strength and honesty and inspires us all that we can not only overcome anything that life throws at us, but that we can live a life of passion, contribution and meaning.

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