Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is one of Canada’s most inspirational leaders, a bestselling author, and a highly recognizable and beloved athlete who has made her work reaching her own potential and helping others reach theirs. Inspiring, funny, thought provoking, and always down to earth, Silken opens her heart and leaves her audience ready to unlock their own potential and aspire to their own greatness. She was in Windsor sharing her past and ongoing battles with mental illness. Here are some highlights from The Windsor Star‘s story on her:
“I’m here in front of you tonight to tell you I have a mental illness, and it’s nothing to be afraid of — it’s part of the journey of being a human being,” said the two-time Canadian Female Athlete of the Year, best known for her remarkable comeback from severe injuries to win a medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Laumann was the feature guest speaker at Stigma Enigma’s fourth annual Mingle for Mental Health fundraiser for Maryvale.
Laumann, now an inspirational speaker, mental health advocate and bestselling author, spoke of her personal journey battling an eating disorder, cutting herself with razors to “release” the mental pain and trying to control outbursts of rage.
“I’d love to say I overcame anxiety and depression, but you know, it’s something you battle on and off through life,” she said. Counselling, medication and a healthy dose of self-love all help, she said.
Laumann was preparing for Barcelona when she suffered severe leg injuries in a rowing accident 10 weeks before the Olympics. The reigning world champion ignored doctors who said her rowing days were over, but she went on to win bronze after five operations and three weeks in hospitals followed by intense therapy and training. She was honoured as Canada’s flag bearer during the closing ceremonies and returned home from Spain a national hero.
“Belief is so incredibly powerful … that belief it’ll get better,” she said of her mental health journey. “I’m not perfect, but I’m enough.”
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