In keeping with Fernie’s well-known athletic spirit, Canadian Olympian Mark Tewksbury made his way to the Park Place Lodge last Wednesday for The Fundamentals of Leadership: Stories from the Chef (de Mission) luncheon presentation.
Hosted by the Fernie Museum, in partnership with the Fernie Rotary Club, the luncheon attracted nearly 70 guests, clinging on to Tewksbury’s engaging speech.
“There’s a few defining moments in Olympic history,” said the prominent Olympic athlete, who has taken home gold, silver and bronze medals, as he began his presentation.
Passing his medals through the audience, Tewksbury quickly switched direction, speaking about his experience as the Chef de Mission — the diplomatic representative for Team Canada — in the London 2012 summer Olympics
“As an athlete you really learn about the mind/body connection,” Tewksbury said, adding that he incorporated that knowledge in his Chef de Mission position.
With a team of 277 athletes and 93 sports staff, Tewksbury’s job entailed keeping the Olympic spirit alive and assisting the athletes in the ultimate goal of Team Canada achieving a top 12 spot in the summer Olympics.
Despite not making a top 12 spot, Tewksbury noted that he focused on three words during his time as Chef de Mission: achievement, leadership and legacy.
“As leader my job was to keep these words alive,” he added.
The former swimming champion also spoke with hundreds of Fernie Secondary School students about anti-bullying, and delivered a presentation on the fundamentals of achievement with the Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club (EVDSC).
As a featured athlete in the Fernie museum’s Olympic Spirit exhibit, the museum curator/director Ron Ulrich said they were fortunate to be able to host Tewksbury at the luncheon.