Describing this two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Moyse in one phrase is a difficult task, as she is so much to so many: multi-sport national athlete (bobsleigh, rugby, and track cycling), inspirational speaker, ambassador, humanitarian, and above all, champion and leader. She is a 4-time Olympian and 2-time Olympic gold medalist, but she is not your typical Olympian as she did not grow up dreaming of competing in the Olympics.
Heather Moyse lives by her personal motto, “Believe in the possibilities”, and inspires people all around the world with her life stories and her life philosophies. From the small Prince Edward Island town of Summerside to the top of the Olympic podium, Heather has been described as Canada’s best ever all-round female athlete, who has accomplished the unlikely not once, not twice, but multiple times by believing in those very possibilities.
She first captured the nation’s attention in 2010 while standing on top of the Olympic podium with Calgary-native Kaillie Humphries. After setting start records all over Europe on the World Cup circuit, the electrifying duo made Canadian history on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics after bombing down the track to Canada’s first-ever gold medal in the sport.
After overcoming some personal challenges against all odds, and returning to bobsleigh only 6 months before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Heather amazed and endeared the world by not giving up on her own journey, and the electrifying duo successfully defended their title as Olympic Champions after a thrilling come-from-behind victory – a feat accomplished only twice before by a Canadian athlete.
But that is not all. She has also represented Canada in track cycling at the 2012 Pan-American Cycling Championships in Argentina – a sport that she took up only months earlier as rehabilitation for her ankle – and on the National Senior Women’s Rugby team in 22 international rugby games and 4 international rugby sevens tournaments, including the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow, Russia. She was the leading try-scorer in both the 2006 and 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cups, and was selected as one of only two females in the world to be International Rugby Anti-Doping Ambassadors. In November 2016, Heather Moyse was the first Canadian female, and only second Canadian ever – to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame to join the likes of Johnny Wilkinson and Nelson Mandela who have also been recognized for their contribution to the sport.
Heather uses her personal experiences – and professional training as an occupational therapist – to encourage and inspire others to embrace challenges and face adversity head-on, believe in the possibilities of achieving their dreams, and to step outside of their comfort zones in order to discover and maximize their potential whether in sport, business, or life. To further personally embrace these points, in 2016 Heather summited the highest mountain in Antarctica to raise awareness for PTSD and raise money to help veterans and soon-to-be-retired members of our Canadian Armed Forces successfully transition back to civilian life after finishing their time in the Military.
Heather Moyse believes we are all capable of way more than we give ourselves credit for, but that we limit ourselves based on what we perceive as being possible or impossible. Because she is passionate about empowering others to achieve their potential, she has made it her business, and recently wrote a book to reach more people. Redefining ‘Realistic’ is a personal invitation from Heather to her readers to believe in the possibilities and discover, for themselves, what they are truly capable of.
In September 2017, after not training for 3.5 years (since the Sochi Olympics), Heather returned to the sport of bobsleigh for the sole purpose of empowering the younger less-experienced athletes, and helping them navigate the high-pressure Olympic season. She faced tremendous pressure during the season to team up with her former teammate with whom she had won her two gold medals, but she clearly stated from the beginning that winning a third Olympic medal was not the motivation that brought her back, but the idea of potentially helping someone else win their first was. She strongly believed in investing in the next generation and stuck with what was important to her, and helped make history in qualifying three Canadian women’s sleds for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. And, only five and a half months after starting to train again, Heather pushed one of the Olympic rookies to a sixth place finish.
As a lifelong humanitarian and proud Islander, Heather donates her time and talent to many community events and national charities, earning her the inaugural Randy Starkman Olympian Humanitarian Award, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and the Order of PEI – the highest honour to be bestowed in any province in Canada.
"We are capable of WAY more than we give ourselves credit for!" Heather
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