Athletes tackle mental health in second Team Canada Champions Chat

Canadian Paralympic Committee

June 01, 2020

‘’We are all in this together.’’


Finding ways to keep busy and motivated during the current pandemic was a common subject from Paralympians and Olympians in the second Team Canada Champions Chat, held virtually on Friday. 

The athletes provided advice on how they manage their mental health during this crisis which has disrupted their training and competitive schedules, not to mention their personal lives.

Twenty-time Paralympic Games medallist Benoit Huot was host of the French chat, which featured Paralympic guests Karolina Wisniewska and Nicolas-Guy Turbide, while figure skater Tessa Virtue took on hosting duties for the English chat, which included Paralympians Andrew Haley and Michelle Salt.

Team Canada Champion Chats is a nationwide education program designed to have athletes speak live to kids, parents, and teachers about the experiences and lessons that have helped them become the world’s best.

In this second of a series of three live chats available for all Canadian students and kids, athlete mentors joined in remotely from their homes.

Haley, a four-time Paralympic medallist in swimming, feels it is important to focus on things that bring happiness and try to improve each day.

‘’My goal is to be better today than yesterday,’’ said Haley, a Nova Scotian who now resides in Toronto. ‘’And I want to be better tomorrow than today. If you live by that motto you will see what amazing things you can accomplish.’’

Salt, a trailblazer in the sport of Para snowboarding, says she recalled her experience when she was injured in a motorcycle accident nine years ago which cost her part of her right leg.

‘’I tapped into my resilience,’’ said Salt, who has competed at the last two Paralympic Winter Games. ‘’I remind myself that I’m alive and breathing and I have a good support system.’’

She adds meditation, walking her dog, and riding her bike are among her favourite activities. ‘’We are all in this together.’’

Team Canada Champion Chats is the first-ever joint partnership between the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Classroom Champions. Click here for more information and to sign up for the next chat. 

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