1) Tell us a little something about being an Olympian…
“Did you win a medal?” is the question Martha hears repeatedly. When the torch was extinguished at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, her dream of competing in the Olympics was complete. Her team’s 13th place finish did not merit “Gold Medal accolades”. However, it is in the words of the founder of the modern-day Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, where the real Gold lies — “The important thing in life is not to triumph, but to compete.” I look to inspire people to embrace their journey and celebrate their full life.
2) When was your lightbulb moment?
It is in my nature to inspire others succeed. On a sailboat, that has always translated into being a leader of the crew rather than being the captain. I was often the first to be dropped from teams when pressure was applied to get a super star or someone’s friend on board. It was easier to get rid of the girl rather than say no to a buddy. The last time I was on an all-male team, I coached the less experienced team members to elevate their performance. Three days before a major regatta, the owner called and said “Good news! You can have this weekend off. I’ve hired a guy from the U.S. and he is going to make all the difference.” I was frustrated by being rejected and not valued for what I brought to the teams. I decided I wanted to have a team that appreciated what I had to offer, I decide to succeed. The things I wanted out of a team was to achieve, learn and most of all have fun! As I was making this decision, I bumped into another female sailor. She asked me to join her female team – just for fun. We competed against the all-male teams and not only did we have a lot of fun, we won … a lot!
3) Three words of advice…
Enjoy the Journey – We did not qualify for the 2004 Games which was the initial goal. It took a lot of soul searching to keep going for 2008. At that time, I bumped into a friend who was a 2-time Olympian. He counselled if I was only thinking about the two weeks of the Games then it was not worth it. But if I loved the process, if I was passionate about the training and becoming better every day, then go for it.
Enjoy the Journey
An Olympian in sailing, Martha is exuberant for inspiring and leading audiences to earnestly believe that they can achieve beyond their expectations. This drive she comes by naturally, for Martha is the daughter of a two-time Olympian father and a top-level golfer mother. The pursuit of excellence is in her blood! And helping others to do the same is a natural outcome. Visit Martha www.risingtides.ca
“May your legacy create a footprint of success
for the next person who steps into your shoes”