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Brian Price

Olympic Gold Medal Coxswain, Cancer Survivor

Brian Price is a 3-time Olympian, 3-time World Champion, Olympic Gold and Olympic Silver Medalist.  He was one of the cornerstones of a dynasty era in the Men’s National Rowing Team Program from 2001-2012.  As a young boy he battled Cancer for 5 years, which turned him into not only the leader he needed to become in the crew, but also a person whose determination, perseverance and courage led to international success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Character Traits
Determination, Perseverance and Courage emerged in Brian during his battle with cancer and helped him achieve international triumph. What defines you and how can these traits help you be successful?

Complacency
In order to achieve long-term success, you must break from the status quo and never let complacency creep into your sport, personal or business life. Brian learned this tough lesson after his #1 ranked crew missed the podium at the 2004 Olympic games.

Executive Excellence
The confidence that results from proper preparation is the key to obtaining the elusive mindset necessary to achieve excellence.

Leadership
In order for Brian to get the most out of each individual team member, it was essential for him to continually adapt and evolve his leadership style and skills during his 12 years on the national team.

Awards

Canadian Sport Awards - Partners of the Year (2003, 2007, 2008, 2012)
BC Sports Hall of Fame Inductee (2009)
Rowing Canada International Achievement Award (2008)
Canwest Media Team of the Year (2008)
CBC Team of the Year (2008)
George Heller Award for Athletic Excellence – Pacific Sport (2002, 2003, 2007, 2008)
Belleville Athlete of the Year (2004, 2008)
Rowing Canada International Achievement Award (2003, 2007)
Rowing Canada – Centennial Medal (2002)
  • I found your talk to be exciting and inspirational. I appreciated how your comments about teamwork, responsibility and commitment are so easily applied to the workplace team environment.

    - Interim President, Vancouver Regional Construction Association
  • Your speech provided an inspiring insight into the Execution Excellence required of an Olympic Champion. Your story brought to life the three characteristics you mentioned - Determination, Perseverance, and Courage.

    - Associate Director Strategic Program Management, P&G
  • I believe there was not a dry eye in the audience - people have continued to tell me that Brian's story, his rendition of it, and his interpretation of it was amongst the most inspiring experience of their lives.

    - Medical Director, Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario

Summary Profile

“You find out what you’re made of, often in your worst moments.”

At the age of seven Brian was diagnosed with Leukemia ALL, and was given a new outlook on life at a very young age. It took five years to beat cancer, but the chemotherapy and other drugs that he took left his thyroid only half functioning during a critical growth period, preventing him from reaching his full growth potential. Standing at a mere 5’4″ tall and 120lbs, he is the perfect size to be a coxswain. Although the battle to beat cancer was extremely difficult it allowed him to become one of the best coxswains in the world. Brian is adamant that “Without having had cancer I would never have become a 3-time World Champion and Olympic Champion.”

Brian has gone from a small town kid to an internationally recognized coxswain. Growing up he always had an interest in sports, and started rowing on the Bay of Quinte with the Quinte Rowing Club in 1995. Almost instantly falling in love with the sport, he thrived on the fact that he had so much influence on how fast the boat would go and how hard he could push his athletes. He continued to row from 1997 until 1998 at the Argonaut Rowing Club in Toronto while completing an Honors diploma in Civil Engineering Technology.

Upon graduation, Brian decided to follow his passion for rowing instead of pursuing a career in Civil Engineering. He first made the National Team in 1998, and has been the #1 coxswain in Canada since 2001. Brian and his crew began making waves on the international scene in 2002, winning Canada’s first World Rowing Championship title in the Men’s Eight. They repeated their winning performance in 2003 and were heavy favorites for gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

For Brian, placing a disappointing 5th at his first Olympics would be one of the biggest learning experiences and challenges since facing cancer as a child. Discouraged and distraught, his plans to move on with life had to be put on hold in order to continue pursuing his dream of Olympic Gold. After two seasons with mixed results, Brian and his crew regained their World Championship title in 2007, and once again had the hopes of their country weighing heavily on them.

The Canadian Men’s Eight rose to the occasion in Beijing, and were ecstatic to bring home Olympic Gold. Brian and his crewmates had come full circle, rising from defeat four years earlier. The dreams of a young boy and childhood cancer survivor from a small town had come true.

Following his Olympic victory, Brian spent two years travelling the country and sharing his story with fellow Canadians as a motivational speaker. He returned to the National Team in 2010 with the goal of leading a largely new and inexperienced crew to the Olympic podium in London. For two years, Brian had to continually balance the demands of raising a family and training with his young team. This required a great deal of focus and personal growth, and culminated when his family watched him and his teammates win an Olympic silver medal in London.

He now lives in Ontario with his wife Robbi, young daughters Brianna and Peyton. In the fall of 2013 he retired from rowing and resumed his motivational speaker career.