GUEST POST: The Olympic Spirit

To help get you into the Olympic spirit, students from MRU interview former Olympic athlete Trevor White!

February 17, 2014

Written by Kurtis, Shae, Kelsey, and Elizabeth, students at Mount Royal University

The Winter Olympics are currently in full swing in Sochi and we hope all of you have had the chance to cheer on your fellow Canadians as they compete. Here at Branch Out we thought we’d get into the Olympic spirit and bring you a very exciting interview from former Olympic athlete Trevor White! Trevor is a retired ten-year veteran member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team who represented Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. We recently got the chance to chat with Trevor about his connection to Branch Out and what motivates him as an athlete.

Hi Trevor! First off, we would love to hear why Branch Out’s cause is important to you?

First and foremost, Crystal Phillips and Graham Daw are both great friends. Having that personal attachment to the foundation is obviously a catalyst for my involvement. Secondly, I see how hard they work, how passionate they are about the foundation and their efforts to make change. Their inspiration makes Branch Out an important cause for many of us.

Branch Out hosts so many great and interactive events each year. We are especially looking forward to getting involved in this year’s bike tour. What are some of Branch Out’s events you have previously attended?

I have attended the Crystal Patches event and two bike tours. When I’m unable to attend I try to be involved through sponsorship or donations.

What do you most look forward to when attending Branch Out events?

The friendship, the sense of community, and the passion of everyone involved to make a difference. It really is a close community of friends, and although the events are growing in frequency and popularity, that hasn’t changed. They have really found a way to combine having a very great time for a very great cause.

The story behind Branch Out’s founding and continued success is so inspiring. What do you think makes Branch Out special or unique compared to other charities?

Crystal Phillips. Her involvement, her passion, her commitment, and her ability to never give up inspiring people from all walks of life. The events, the foundation, and the support are all a representation of her charismatic personality.

NeuroCAM (neuroscience in complementary and alternative medicine) plays an integral role in Branch Out’s vision. Why do you think the advancement of neuroCAM research and technology is important?

I think, and this is true in most medical fields, that there are still a lot of unknowns; and research and innovation are constantly important to be informed and find a cure.

People affected with neurological disorders have to overcome a great deal of adversity, and Branch Out strives to provide support and guidance for them. When you encounter adversity in your own life and career, how do you overcome it?

Perspective. To me perspective is everything. As an athlete we are trained to think short-term and narrow our focus. For me, I have learned to take a holistic approach and look at the big picture. Celebrate small victories, keep perspective of my set backs and challenges, and in turn see them as opportunities to grow and be better. It comes down to personal development. Sometimes we are not in control of what happens, but we are in control of how we perceive it and how to move forward.

Lastly, with the Sochi Olympics currently underway, we’d love if you could give us an inside glimpse into a competitor’s life within the Olympics and to hear about your experiences.

The Olympics really are surreal. To be a part of something so big and great is overwhelming and humbling at the same time. In one sense, you are there to compete, represent your country and your sport, and fight for a result. In a larger sense, it is a reflection of all of your hard work, sacrifices, and perseverance. This is visible in all of the inspirational stories we hear, see and read of various athletes from all over the world. So in that sense, it is about people coming together, celebrating sport and culture, and inspiring future generations to be great.



Thank you Trevor for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us! We greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk to you.

We hope to bring more inspiring stories from former and current Olympic athletes to you as the 2014 Winter Olympics continue. Check in with us again next week for another post, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates and Branch Out news!

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