“In life, you don’t always get to choose the role you play, but you do get to choose how you play it.”
As our collective attention is directed at winter athletes, some tremendous stories of dedication, passion, teamwork, and sacrifice are taking over global headlines. So often we hear of athletes childhood dreams coming true with Olympic achievement, but we don’t often hear what happens when things don’t pan out as expected.
Canadian Olympic Hockey Goalie Sami Jo Small is bringing her unique perspective to NSB on Thursday as one of the three featured speakers at our Gold Medal Breakfast.
Sami Jo grew up in Winnipeg and like so many Canadians had an unrivalled passion for the game of hockey. As a young woman seeking success in the sport, the cards were stacked against her, however that suited Sami Jo just fine. Her hard work and determination to realize her goals paid off when she was selected for the 1998 Canadian Women’s Hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Despite not seeing game action during the Nagano games, Sami Jo arrived in Salt Lake City in 2002 with a bang, starting in a 7-0 drumming of Team Russia, only to be left on the bench for Canada’s Gold Medal win later in the tournament. She was elated for her team and nation’s victory while at the same time struggling with her own personal disappointment in not being the one to backstop Canada all the way to gold.
Herein lies Sami Jo’s motivational story:
“The biggest difference between myself and other Olympians is the whole idea of being placed in situations that were not the way I had envisioned living my Olympic dream.”
Things don’t always play out exactly how we initially envision them. By embracing and appreciating her role within the team, Sami Jo’s story serves as an excellent example of the power of positivity.