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Marnie McBean, O.C.

Canada’s Chef de Mission, 2020 Tokyo Olympics | Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

Marnie McBean
Speakers' Spotlight Showcase 2014
Walrus Talks: Expectation is Play's Enemy
Marnie McBean
Speakers' Spotlight Showcase 2014
Walrus Talks: Expectation is Play's Enemy

Marnie McBean is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians, and an expert in turning potential into performance. As Canada’s chef de mission at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a former Specialist in Olympic Athlete Preparation and Mentoring for the Canadian Olympic Committee, McBean prepared athletes emotionally and psychologically to ensure that they performed at their highest level. Drawing on her years of experience as a performance coach and a top competitor herself, she leaves audiences with a recipe for success that can be applied to all endeavours.

McBean has attended 10 Olympics games as an athlete, member of the media, mentor, and chef de mission. She is one of only two Canadians to have ever won three gold medals in the Summer Olympics, and one of only two women globally to have won a medal in all the Open Women boat classes. In total, McBean has won 12 World and Olympic medals.

During the 2020 Olympics, McBean made headlines as the chef de mission for Team Canada as she led them through the incredible disruption of the one-year delay caused by the global pandemic and the multitude of restrictions, cancellations, and adaptations that followed. As a head of delegation and spokesperson for the team, and a mentor for the athletes, coaches, and staff, her aim was to create an inclusive environment conducive to optimal performance despite the extraordinary challenges.

In recognition of her record-breaking rowing career, McBean is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She is also actively involved in helping to promote the safety, health, and activity of Canada’s youth. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been awarded with both the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

McBean holds a degree in kinesiology from the Western University, as well as four honourary doctorates. She is also the author of The Power of More: How Small Steps Help Us Achieve Big Goals.

Speaking topics

Presentations listed below include in-person and virtual keynotes, as well as workshops, fireside chats, and other presentation formats.

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Client reviews

  • The presentation was very well received. Marnie was funny, motivational and inspirational – she was a perfect fit for our audience and a great finale for our Spring Forward series.

  • I just wanted to thank you for the after dinner talk you gave to our group in Banff last week! It was really an honor to meet you and refreshing to hear you speak from the heart about some of the challenges you faced, and overcame, in your career as an athlete. In particular, I enjoyed your illustrations about the differences between you and [your rowing partner]. One of the things I try to emphasize as a leader is that each one of us has a unique set of abilities to contribute to a team – and that we should strive to understand and value our differences – not always easy to do!

  • Marnie had so much to add to our conference! Right from the kick off dinner on the Sunday through her key note on Tuesday, it was an absolute pleasure to have her with us. Here’s what we most appreciated:

    • Clearly able to connect with anyone at any time – can genuinely build on anyone’s conversation, questions, and adds levity to any situation;
    • Many commented on how well prepared she was – heard some comments on how well her key note integrated with our conference theme (that she & one of our key training partners went out of their way to compare notes says a lot).
    • Her key note was a fantastic combination of content and delivery pizzazz!
    • When we mentioned we had a copy of her book for each employee, Marnie went above and beyond and volunteered to sign each copy – she truly lives “the power of more”. There was a real buzz in the crowd!

    Thank you again for enabling Marnie to work this engagement into her schedule. She really had an impact!

  • Marnie was excellent. She was entertaining, inspiring and wove in the importance of mentors and mentoring in a very meaningful way. We were very pleased with the event and received great feedback from attendees.

  • Marnie McBean is an amazing storyteller with the ability to take the audience on a journey and tie it all in with key lessons.

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