This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Rethinking education from the perspective of a child, an athlete and a mom. “Vulnerability is not weakness; vulnerability is strength.”

Starting in 1976, Silken Laumann won a number of awards, including a gold medal in quadruple sculls at the U.S. Championships, two gold medals in single sculls at the Pan American Games, a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in the double sculls with her sister Daniele. At the 1988 Olympics, Laumann finished seventh in the double scull. Laumann won a silver medal in single sculls at the 1990 World Championships, and the gold medal at the following year’s World Championships. On August 2, 1992, Silken made the greatest comeback in Canadian sports history, winning the bronze medal for Canada, and capturing the hearts of a nation. Silken retired from rowing in 1999 with three Olympic medals, and since then has continued to inspire, encouraging people to dream, live in the moment and embrace failure as a stepping stone to success.