Mark Tewksbury

Speaker, Celebrity


Mark Tewksbury

Olympic Gold Medalist | Chef de Mission, 2012 Summer Olympic Game | Humanitarian

Mark Tewksbury is a true icon—recognized for his achievements in sport, public speaking, and humanitarianism. A sought after personality, Mark has spent decades sharing his life experience with audiences around the world. He is a charismatic storyteller whose presentations impart energy, insight, and valuable lessons.

Mark first came to prominence as the star athlete who burst out of the water at the Barcelona Olympics. He is an Olympic Champion with gold, silver and bronze medals, numerous awards, and a cover appearance on Time magazine. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports, Canadian Olympic, and International Swimming Halls of Fame. And in 2012, Mark was the Chef de mission for the Canadian Olympic team competing in London.

While sporting achievements contributed to his early success, Mark’s remarkable life post-Olympics have truly defined him. A celebrated communicator and educator, Mark has touched millions of people as a speaker, author and television host.

He has been the Master of Ceremonies for the Dalai Lama’s Canadian appearances, and was invited by the Government of France to address human rights at the United Nations in New York City.

Mark came out as Canada’s first openly gay sports star almost twenty years ago, and has been a leader and mentor in the global LGBT human rights movement ever since.

He is currently the Chair of Special Olympics Canada and is a director for the Canadian Olympic Committee. He is also the co-founder of Great Traits, a training and development company that helps people succeed in competitive, performance-driven environments.

Mark has received honorary degrees from Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and University of Western Ontario.

See more about Great Traits.


Human Rights and Diversity: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock

Mark Tewksbury is a recognized as a leader of social change. Author of three books, including Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock, Mark is one of the few openly gay Olympic champions in the world. Not someone afraid to speak out,  Mark co-founded OATH with other leading athletes and advocates to take a difficult but necessary step to hold the International Olympic Committee accountable to its own ideals.

In 2006, Mark was the president of the first World Outgames held in Montreal, and was recognized as one of OUT Magazine’s top 100 people. In 2007, he was named by Foundation Emergence as the person of the year for his fight against homophobia, and in 2008, he was asked by the Government of France to speak on LGBT issues at the United Nations in NYC. He was also an ambassador for the historic Pride House at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010, ensuring the LGBT community had a presence for the first time at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Most recently, Mark lent his Olympic gold medal to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights to be displayed as part of the “2015 Year of Sport” exhibit.

For his ethical leadership and active humanitarianism, Mark has received Honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Calgary.

In this candid talk, Mark draws on his personal experiences as someone who was once in the margins to someone who made the headlines and by doing so, broke down barriers for not just gay athletes, but for all those who feel unable to be their authentic selves in today’s society. Speaking on the importance of human rights, diversity, and inclusion, Mark brings his hard-fought wisdom and insights to this important topic.

Great Traits

Mark Tewksbury joins forces with Debbie Muir to offer their “Great Traits” program. Great Traits engages people to be champions in their own lives. Connecting individuals, teams and organizations to the fundamentals of achievers, leaders and legacy, Great Traits drives people to reach their best results. Through various products and services, Great Traits offer unique solutions to achieve quality, repeat success and make a positive impact while doing it. Please enquire for more information.