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Pj Kwong

WordBroker: Passionate, Playful & Positive

Pj Kwong has worn many hats professionally, starting with 25 + years coaching figure skating. She can be found beyond the boards as a well-respected writer, broadcaster and social media correspondent for CBC’s figure skating coverage. This self-proclaimed WordBroker published her first book in 2010 and will be one of the PA voices at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, her 7th Games’ appearance since 2002.

Photos

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

My Five Ring Circus
Let’s face it: for many people, the world stops for that period of time when the Olympics are on. There is nothing that quite matches the pomp, circumstance and drama that defines the competition. As a sport PA announcer, Pj has worked at six Olympic Games since 2002 and is slated to be at the next two. It is a unique experience to say the least, where people from all over the world have to greet, meet and get cracking almost immediately to put on the world’s biggest event. There is pressure and lots of work to be sure but what isn’t generally known is that it’s also a fun ‘family reunion’ with many of the same people going from Games to Games. This talk takes the audience inside to see what’s really going on at the level of the ordinary working person at an extraordinary event.

Skating Stories – The Canadian Ice Legacy
As part of the CBC Sports’ team covering figure skating since 2006, a coach since the 1980s and a skater before that, Pj is a permanent fixture on the figure skating scene. In this presentation, this sport insider presents a first-hand account of many of the sport’s biggest stories and stars. From Olympic champions Barbara Ann Scott and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Olympic medallists Elvis Stojko, Joannie Rochette and Patrick Chan, she knows them all. 2002 co-Olympic champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier changed the course of figure skating history from the ice while Pj was watching from the rink side PA position in Salt Lake City.

Cancer Can be Beaten – But Not Before it Beats You (Up) First
For the power that it holds over many people, C-A-N-C-E-R should be a four and not a six letter word. In this very personal and powerful presentation, Pj shares the 20+ year journey that she took with her mother Grace Elliott through her mother’s 7 bouts of primary cancer. In typical mother and daughter fashion, there were many laughs along the way often provided by the absurdity that can be found in medical care. Optimistic and hopeful, this presentation will leave the audience thinking about their own life choices and possibilities.

Adventures in Social Media
As an early adopter of social media, Pj has been able to create an in-demand popular presence across various platforms including CBC Sports’ web pages for figure skating, her own blog, a podcast, on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and on Facebook. Pj translates her innate appreciation of creating and sustaining a positive brand online into manageable and understandable steps. Learning how to communicate in the 21st century is definitely more about the journey than the destination. Pj’s approach is practical, candid and humour-filled and proves that this old dog can absolutely learn new tricks.

  • Book this woman if you care about engaging an audience with interesting stories, well-told. She is what happens when a mesmerizing run-on sentence crashes into an incredible attention to detail. Her life story is almost as fascinating as the stories she has witnessed along the way. Almost. She brings an infectious energy to everything she does. Whether she is writing a book, hosting a blog, speaking to a friend or broadcasting to an audience of thousands - what you get is pure Pj.

    - Executive Producer, CBC Olympics
  • Whenever she is in front of the microphone in any capacity, she has a way of making people feel good and pay attention. Her combination of skills, experience and sense of humour give her a unique perspective on the world, well worth listening to.

    - Elvis Stojko, Two-time Olympic Silver medallist, Three-time World Champion
  • PJ can walk into a room and instantly connect with an audience. Her upbeat and offbeat style, her wacky and wonderful sense of humor … and her ability to say all the things the rest of us wish we had the courage to say … make her comments and presentations full of wit, wisdom and FUN! To listen and interact with PJ is always sparkling entertainment!

    - Debbi Wilkes, Olympic Silver medallist, Director of Marketing and Sponsorship (retired) Skate Canada
  • PJ is an excellent presenter, who has wonderful relaxed delivery while using few notes. She is very perceptive of the audience, easily captured their interest, focusing on an array of topics in an entertaining & relevant manner. In her presentation she used an appropriate number of relevant visual aids. She has a wonderful & timely sense of humor, combined with excellent intonation & voice resonance.

    - Chair - Skate Canada Central Ontario
  • PJ spoke brilliantly about both the skating world and her life experiences in an entertaining and enlightening dialogue. The audience which had looked forward to meeting and hearing PJ Kwong was not disappointed. I recommend PJ Kwong as a guest speaker for any group.

    - Past President, CFUW Leaside East York 2014/2015

Summary Profile

Pj Kwong ‘s career is as much of a surprise to herself as it is to anyone else. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a degree focused on Modern Languages. After a brief stint in the hotel business, she returned to her roots in figure skating as a coach, while raising a family. During the World Championships in Halifax as a spectator in 1990, Pj was inspired to become a PA announcer. A humble start as a local event volunteer blossomed into a career that includes six of the last seven Olympic Games with requests for the Games in 2016 and 2018 already in the works.

Television came next when there was a need for English language guide track commentary in all of figure skating’s disciplines at ISU Championships. Pj’s extensive knowledge of the sport’s technical aspect as well as the skaters made her the natural choice and led to work with the following networks: CBC, CTV, TSN in Canada and CCTV, TBS, Asahi and SBS in Asia.

Pj has been a fixture on the team covering figure skating for CBC Sports since 2006. A dream job that has included interviewing and writing about some of the sport’s biggest stars and stories. Commentary duties have included entire events and simultaneous interactions with viewers via email, Twitter, online chats and Q & As.  The after-show podcast that Pj does with colleague Kurt Browning is another part of the coverage that has gained in popularity on the CBC Sports’ website over the last 3 years.

Pj’s first book: Taking the Ice: Success Stories from the World of Canadian Figure Skating was published by Bookland Press in 2010 and was the jumping off point for her start in public speaking.

Pj’s self-proclaimed title of WordBroker is a tongue in cheek attempt to describe her work – with the tag line: I read them (as an announcer) I write them (as a blogger) i speak them (as a speaker).