London Blog

July 27, 2012
London bridge at night

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are about to begin and so are my London blog posts. These posts will highlight True Sport moments at the Games.

But first, here’s a quick primer on True Sport. True Sport is the seven principles that Canadians have told us they want sport to be driven by in our country.  We know that when these seven principles are in play – in the right balance and proportion, and with no principle ever crowding out another – sport is at its best. This is when the benefits of sport for individual participants, for our communities and for our country are maximized. That is why we like to say that “True Sport Can Make A Great Difference!” (Go to for a complete list of the True Sport Principles.)

For example, when the desire to “go for it” (one of the True Sport Principles) leads athletes to dope, it crowds out other True Sport Principles such as “play fair”, “stay healthy” and “respect others”; and as it does so, it robs sport of its positive power and benefits.

So during the Games, let’s shine a light on the True Sport moments. Let’s highlight the athletes who display True Sport as they strive to be their best and to be the best. These are the athletes worthy of extra recognition because they are helping sport be its best.

No better place to begin than to highlight Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes. Clara has accomplished so much in sport, and like very few athletes, has competed in both summer and winter Olympics (speed skating and cycling). Clara competes to be the best and has been the best numerous times and all the while she has displayed the True Sport Principles – on the ice/track and off. Using her role model status, she has spoken out about mental health issues to “give back” (another True Sport Principle) to help bring awareness to and remove the social stigma associated with these all-too-prevalent diseases. Clara was interviewed in London on the eve of the Games and here is what she had to say about competing in these Olympics.

“It’s a gift. It’s an opportunity,” said Hughes of her return to the Games. “I’m just so motivated to try, and to see what’s possible. And that’s my goal, to be whatever I may be on that day, and to have no regrets. Right now it’s so beautiful that I just want to be engaged in every moment and I want to be engaged in this process, and to feel the spirit of the Olympics, and be a part of this beautiful event once again.”

When we watch Clara compete over this coming fortnight, we will have no doubt that she is giving everything she has as she “goes for it.” But this quote illustrates that she is also “keeping it fun” (another True Sport Principle) as she does. Go Clara Go!

Let me know if you see or hear of a True Sport moment during the Games.