Olympic gold medalist Jamie Salé says it’s almost comical the number of ups and downs she’s experienced so far in life.
Getting back up after a setback is something that everyone must face and that’s what she intends to share as keynote speaker at the sixth annual Power of a Girl Mother/Daughter Conference in Red Deer on Saturday.
Salé said the moms and teens, age 12 to 14, who attend the Soroptimist International of Central Alberta event may be surprised by the challenges she has faced.
“They know me as an Olympic champion and they’ll think my life must have been pretty smooth,” Salé, 39, said on Wednesday.
“A lot of people who have been successful in life have gone through a ton of diversity and had to persevere through many different obstacles and setbacks.”
The road to gold at the 2002 Olympics with skating partner David Pelletier would be one of those hardships. Russian skaters were initially awarded the gold, but after a judging scandal was exposed, Salé and Pelletier also received gold.
Salé said as a public figure, her divorce from Pelletier also had its difficulties.
“I think it’s really important to share that. It’s not about blame. It’s just about this was my reality, and how you deal with it.”
Single moms who attend the conference may understand and appreciate that discussion, said Salé who has a son, 9, with Pelletier.
Salé now has a three-year-old daughter with husband and sports broadcaster Craig Simpson, and said that she could see herself attending a mother/daughter conference when her daughter is older.
“I think we can all benefit at some time in our life from these kinds of conferences, listening to other people’s stories and how people have lived and persevered and the challenges that they have. You may have different circumstances but the stories are very similar.”
Power of a Girl Mother/Daughter Conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Red Deer College Cenovus Centre East Wing. Tickets are $25 each for moms (or women over 18). Girls are free.
For more information or to register go to www.motherdaughterconference.com.