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ROLE MODEL: Shelley-Ann Brown
ROLE MODELS, March 2010, by Ellen (Teen Stuff Crew)
Olympic Silver Medalist
Shelley-Ann Brown came to my school on March 23rd to speak about her Olympic experience in the 2010 Canadian Olympics. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about herself and her sport; bobsledding. Here is my interview:
Ellen: Why don’t you tell me a bit about your sport, bobsled?
Shelley-Ann: Well, bobsledding was one of the first Olympic sports! It was there at the very beginning. The first year that women's bobsledding was in the Olympics was 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah. It had been on the world cup circuit for a while though. Only for the 2-men race though! There is no 4-men bobsledding race for women, though if there was I would totally compete in it as it is so much fun!
Ellen: You grew up as track runner. Did you ever think that you would be competing in the Olympics for Canada in bobsledding?
Shelley-Ann: No, actually I hate the cold! So it wasn't really planned. I love to run. I ran all through elementary school and high school. At one high school track meet, OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletics Association) when I was running with a broken arm, in the crowd there was a boy a bit younger than me watching. I ran the race of a lifetime and ended up winning! Years later I got a phone call from a woman who had competed in the 2006 Turin games, asking me to come out and try bobsledding. Turns out that the boy in the crowd was her younger brother and when she mentioned that she was looking for a new bobsleigh team he remembered me. He told her that I was super fast and tough. Apparently, I looked like a good bobsledder to him! After trying it out, I just fell in love with the sport!
Ellen: What was the first thing that went through your head when you knew you had won silver for Canada and your teammates had won gold?
Shelley-Ann: It was an amazing experience. We made history for Canada! Canadian women had never won a medal in bobsledding, and we came out with a gold and silver victory! It was the first time Canada had ever won gold and silver in the Olympics!!!
Ellen: What did your team do to celebrate that night?
Shelley-Ann: Well the first thing we had to do is doping. Then we had a press conference. After that we had a big reception with family and friends at the Canada House.
Ellen: Is your family supportive of your bobsledding career?
Shelley-Ann: At first they were a bit nervous for me and they thought I was crazy, but now they are super supportive and I'm extremely lucky to have them by my side!
Ellen: What did you do after high school?
Shelley-Ann: Well I stayed in school and got my Bachelors Degree in English and Biology. I also got my Masters Degree in Educational Psychology.
Ellen: Did you have any mentors or role models growing up?
Shelley-Ann: Well, I really looked up to my older sister. She was always organized and always got stuff done, but I didn't really have a major role model.
Ellen: Can you tell me a bit about the camp you used to run called "Education and Direction for Intelligent Fit Youth" in Scarborough?
Shelley-Ann: In my first year in university I wanted to do something to close the gap between different aged kids. I wanted to make a place where kids could go and have fun while getting education and keeping fit and healthy. I'm always concerned about the state of health and education for kids. So I ran Camp E.D.I.F.Y!
Ellen: Do you have a message you would like to share with young girls?
Shelley-Ann: Don't be afraid to be the first to do something that you love! Go out and conquer your fears or they will conquer you!
Shelley-Ann Brown is a very hardworking and determined woman who is very kind and loving. She is very passionate about doing what she loves no matter what! I had a great time interviewing her and I learned a lot. It doesn't matter if your friends aren't into a sport or activity you love, you should do it anyways and always try your best at what ever it is.
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