Marnie McBean, O.C.
Canada’s Chef de Mission, 2020 Tokyo Olympics | Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
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.