Faith Knelson is an inspiration. At 14 years-old she has made the Canadian National Junior Team, and in the Olympic trials in Toronto recently she broke a record in the 100m breaststroke for 13/14 year-olds that had stood for 29 years.
Phenomenal is a word that comes to mind.
But there are aspects to the phenomenon that don’t show up directly in the career benchmarks, time trials and medal standings. Some of them are givens for anyone performing at her level. She works hard and is dedicated to her sport every day.
Those are traits we can all learn from and apply in our own lives. The first person we have to inspire if we are going to motivate others, is ourselves.
She has also benefitted from intensive coaching. She has worked with the Orcas Swim Club’s Dusan Toth-Szabo for many years, and credits him with her success. But having a coach and working with one are two different things. Champions take advice. The best of them crave it.
Top performers realize that a snapshot of glory is like the point on a pyramid – you can only get there and pump your fist in that moment of celebration by building on a balanced life. If one aspect is missing or out of sync, it’s sure to affect others. Family, friends, health, education, community, they’re all part of the larger picture.
And that’s part of the celebration for the rest of us. Champions represent the best in us all – and there can be little doubt that, no matter what the future holds for Faith, she is a champion.