Lisa Bowes @lisabowescreates
If you tuned in to the coverage of women’s hockey at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, you’ll be familiar with Lisa Bowes. Since the sports media personality was featured on the cover of IMPACT, she has continued her sports media career with TSN, The Score, CBC and CTV, covering everything from the Stanley Cup Finals to the X Games.
Lisa made history as the first woman to do play-by-play for the National Women’s Hockey League.
“I’ve experienced many job losses: a public firing, redundancy, and a layoff. I consider COVID-19 to be my fourth because I lost all revenue in March 2020. But I consider these events as ‘badges of honour,’” she says. “Sure, the first one was devastating but now I know that the more blows you take, the easier it is to recover. We have to be like Rocky and just stand in there. That’s what I believe makes us truly resilient.”
Lisa is the author of the Lucy Tries Sports series (@lucytriesproject) which now includes five titles: Lucy Tries Luge, Lucy Trues Short Track, Lucy Tries Soccer, Lucy Tries Hockey and Lucy Tries Basketball. The series promotes inclusive physical literacy and encourages young readers to get involved in sport.
She recently launched a new virtual webinar: Inspiring Children to be Active Through Reading.
“Failure works, so keep doing it,” – Sir James Dyson
When Alan was first diagnosed, 90% of the cells in his bone marrow were cancerous. Without treatment, he was given less than a year to live.
On the day he received an adult blood stem cell transplant, he has so weak from treatment that he couldn’t stand for longer than a minute. For someone who had once stood at the highest physical point on the planet– Mt. Everest– it was a long way to fall and an even longer and harder climb back up.
“With the help of many others, I clawed my way back and today, I have the great good fortune of being one of less than a few dozen people in the world to regain an elite level of fitness after an adult blood stem cell transplant for the treatment of acute leukemia. I have no long-term side effects from treatment and I am officially medically cured,” says Alan. “In short, I have lived a miracle and my goal now is to help others maximize their quality of life for the maximum time in their own climb back.”
Alan developed a free program: “The Climb Back from Cancer Survivorship Program” for the newly diagnosed. “In a nutshell, it is everything you need to know if you or someone you know is diagnosed with cancer,” he says. His goal is to get the program into the hands of at least 10,000 newly-diagnosed patients and their personal caregivers over the next two years.
“What inspires me is seeing a newly-diagnosed patient who starts their journey paralyzed by fear but who gradually unlocks the power within themselves to rise to the challenge with hope, strength, and courage,” says Alan. “The transformation is more than inspirational. It is literally life-changing and it can be life-saving. I believe that it is an achievement bigger, higher, and harder than climbing Mt. Everest.”
“On the other side of fear is freedom,” – Alan Hobson
Jeremy Deere @jeremy.deere
After running in the 2001 World Athletics Championships (5,000m), Jeremy got married, got a job in the pharmaceutical industry, and had his first child. He slowly transitioned away from track and competition, running his last track race in 2004. He did, however, compete in the 2005 World Half Marathon Championships, a couple of months after the birth of his daughter. During his 10-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, Jeremy co-founded Strides Running Store in Calgary and left the industry to take over as the full-time manager/owner of Strides in 2014. There are now two locations in Calgary and a franchise in Canmore, Alberta.
Strides (@stridesrunning) was the little running store that could. “We were possibly a little naïve on what it took to open and operate a small business,” he says, “especially in the ultra-competitive sporting goods industry.”
The store really took off once Jeremy committed to it full-time. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “Last March/April were some of the most stressful times I’ve endured,” he says. “But the community we had built over the previous 13 plus years supported us and we got through it.”
Strides recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Now that his kids are older, Jeremy has more time to run and is hoping to complete all 6 Marathon Majors in the coming years. He’s also looking forward to more Nordic skiing and road cycling.
“Hard work and perseverance net results over the long term.” – Jeremy Deere
Dr. Lindsay Alcock
The transition from Olympic athlete to health professional was tough for Lindsay.
She went from hurtling face-first down a slippery track to fixing people’s aches and pains with her hands.
“Working in the real world after being in a structured routine for 10 years definitely took some getting used to,” she says. “At the end of the day, I had to go back to why I chose the profession in the first place. I can fix people with my hands. They come into the clinic seeking help and they leave feeling hopeful that they can continue to pursue the activities they love.”
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Jonathan Brown @jbmilesandmiles
Since appearing on the cover of IMPACT (twice!), Jonathan Brown stepped away from competing after being at the top of the sport for 18 years. He has since coached both the Canadian and New Zealand triathlon teams at the Olympics.
He plans on staying healthy and active.
“Live fully as possible each day. Appreciate the small details all around us, especially in nature.” – Jonathan Brown
Ellie Greenwood @elliejgreenwood
North Vancouver, BC
After appearing on the cover of IMPACT, Ellie went on to have continued success in ultrarunning. She was a two-time Western States 100 winner in 2011 and 2012, setting the course record in 2012. She won Comrades 89K and World 100K in 2014 and was voted Ultrarunning Magazine’s ‘Ultrarunner of the Decade’ for 2010-2019.
Since 2016, Ellie has struggled with injuries and while she continues to hike and run, she no longer competes.
Ellie has been a full-time ultrarunning coach since 2014.
Ray Zahab @rayzahab
Ray is no stranger to resilience. A few years ago, on an Arctic expedition, he broke through the ice on a fast-moving river and was nearly swept under the ice. “I was able to eventually get myself out to a point where my teammate could safely reach me,” he says. “We were very remote and had just been dropped by a helicopter. Over the next few days we had to hike out to a point to meet our team. I was exhausted, frost-bitten, and mentally broken, but I knew one thing for sure: I’d lived to see my family again. I was still alive.”
Since appearing on the cover of IMPACT, Ray has gone on to run more than 17,000km on expeditions across some of Earth’s largest deserts. He has also completed unsupported winter expeditions across the Arctic, Siberia, and Kamchatka.
Ray received the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada and has continued to bring youth on free expeditions all over the world with his non-profit, impossible2Possible (@goi2p).
Ray takes clients to many of the remote places he’s visited with his guiding company KapiK1 (@kapik.1). The team has launched a line of fair trade, small farmer coffees.
“I’m inspired by anybody that is challenging themselves in their own lives. Life experiences are relative to us as individuals and every person’s life has challenges and difficulties,” he says. “It’s when we choose to face those head-on and overcome and succeed, that’s what I find so inspiring.”
Up next for Ray are multiple expeditions with one being a remote, unsupported winter Arctic expedition that will be the subject of a documentary.
“I live by the belief that we are ALL capable of the extraordinary in our lives and that each of us has the capacity to overcome challenges and thrive beyond what we think we can. There is a resilience in each and every one of us.” – Ray Zahab
Haley Daniels @haleydanski
When Haley first started canoe slalom, she was told she would never compete at the Olympics. The sport had three categories for men to compete in, but just one for women.
Alongside a group of global athletes, Haley appealed to the International Canoe Federation and the International Olympic Committee to have her category, C1W, added to the Olympic program but kept meeting closed doors.
“We endured discrimination on and off the water,” she says. “We were ready for the 2012 London Olympics and they did not allow us to go. We were ready for the 2016 Rio Olympics and they didn’t allow us to go. Finally, our advocacy was successful and we were added to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020!”
But then the Games were postponed a year due to the pandemic.
Around the same time, Haley’s Dad was going through a big decision and came out to their family as a proud Transgender woman.
When Haley passed over the start line at the Games in Tokyo last summer, her Dad was there to share the experience as an official, judging the sport.
“I am grateful to have pioneered a pathway forward for future female canoeists to come,” she says.
“Go where you feel most alive and the mountains inspire me to be great and seize the day! So with that working towards my next big goal: it doesn’t matter where you start. Only that you begin.” – Haley Daniels
Since appearing on the cover of IMPACT Magazine, retired decathlete Michael Smith is staying busy. Rather than decathlon’s usual track and field events, he’s worked in finance, capital markets, venture capital, technology and innovation. “Basically, I am still a decathlete,” he says.
Michael is a two-time IMPACT cover athlete and continues to practise the skills he learned as an athlete in all facets of his life.
“Sport is a microcosm of life, and in both spheres, resilience is key,” he says. “Sport has a way of hyper-focussing drive and crystallizing efforts, which ultimately seems to serve as a more than useful tool in life.”
Mandy Gill @mandygilldotcom
Mandy Gill continues to have as much fun in life as she did during her 2014 IMPACT cover shoot. Her passion to help people achieve their health and wellness goals has led her to more than 200 appearances on national TV programs. She completed Harvard’s Leadership Program, launched an app (Hooked on Healthy Habits) and a podcast (Hooked on Habits).
Mandy is also an international speaker and works with teams to unlock their productivity. “My goal is to leave audiences with actionable steps to enhance their clarity and focus to succeed one habit at a time,” she says.
The motivational speaker was presenting in-person to audiences and like others, had to find a way to continue without that face-to-face contact. She created a virtual studio to continue delivering keynote presentations and seminars out of. “It’s been a fantastic learning curve,” she says, “from the technical side, to lighting and ways to keep audiences fully engaged.”
“You’re not living until you’re giving.” — Gary Mauris
Mandy was excited to run an organized 50-mile trail race last fall and looks forward to writing a book.
Performer Johnny Wright has been busy since appearing on the cover of IMPACT Magazine 26 years ago. Back then, Wright’s career was just starting with Alberta Ballet. Among the highlights, he was a popular soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and performed on the international stage for 10 years, he was invited to perform for Queen Elizabeth II during her Golden Jubilee Visit, he received a 2006 Gemini Award for “Best Performance in a Performing Arts Show/Series”, he was cast as Johnny Castle in Mirvish Production’s North American Premiere of Dirty Dancing and went on to play the role in London’s West End at the Aldwych Theater.
As a performer, he viewed the nightly audience (2,500-plus) as an opportunity to connect with one person in the audience. He wanted them to leave the theatre feeling different from when they walked in. “I felt as though that was my job,” he says, “and is what fulfilled me and brought joy knowing there was likely ‘one person.’”
“50 is the new 30,” says Wright. He’s in better shape nearing age 50 than he was at 25. “I’m more flexible now than when I was a dancer, have maintained the same general weight, which includes a body fat less than my shoe size, and have not eaten animal protein in over a decade.”
Wright has spent the better part of three decades honing and developing his craft as an accomplished and dedicated artist, dancer, actor, entertainer and athlete. Says Wright: “I continue to grow, develop and learn from the challenges of life.”
Catriona Le May Doan @catrionald
Since her retirement from speed skating competition, two-time Olympic Champion Catriona Le May Doan has remained heavily involved in the amature sport world.
Le May Doan is the vice-chair for the Canada Games Council, sits on boards for Special Olympics Canada, Winsport and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary. She was the lead athlete mentor for the Canadian team at PyeongChang 2018 and was the chef de mission for Team Canada at the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
After she retired from racing, Le May Doan went on to be part of a broadcast team at five Olympic Games. She earned a Gemini for Best Sports Analyst for her speed skating coverage at Vancouver 2010.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unit people in a way that little else does.” — Nelson Mandela
Brent McMahon @tribrentmcmahon
Since appearing on the cover of IMPACT in 2015, Triathlete Brent McMahon has continued to race in Ironman and Half Ironman distance events across the globe, including four times at World Championships in Kona. His best finish at the main event remains ninth in 2015.
“I have continued to strive towards a better finish in Kona, but injuries, bad luck and Covid have made it very challenging,” he says.
McMahon has broken the eight-hour barrier five times over the years, winning four titles in the Ironman distance. “My motivation is still high for another top performance in Kona, but focusing on being the best athlete I can be right now is my focus,” he says. “Performance will come after I commit to the process and be happy and enjoy the training.”
At 41, McMahon is one of the older professional Ironman athletes still on the circuit. And he’s going to keep racing at the top level of the sport for as long as he can. “I want to prove to myself that with smart training and a focused approach, I can push the age a person can perform at peak level.”
“Hard work, dedication and challenges are what inspire me. Knowing I have logged consistent days of hard work means I’ve been in a good place where I’m happy and motivated. I live for the consecutive weeks of building fitness towards a goal.”
Lisa Bentley @lisa_bentley123
Lisa Bentley retired from professional sport in 2009, two years after her last appearance on the cover of IMPACT in 2007 (she also appeared on the cover in 2006).
Bentley retired with 11 Ironman and 16 Ironman 70.3 victories, including a particularly difficult campaign at Ironman Australia 2005. She was returning as the three-time defending champion,
“I tore my racing suit and stepped on a tack pre-race. But I continued. I got elbowed in the eye at 300m into the 3,800m swim. I lost my goggles, but I kept on going. I created a new theme, ‘be the best problem solver. Prove that you deserve to be called an Ironman champion by overcoming these hurdles. Today will be the obstacle race. Show that nothing can deter you,” she says.
“Onto the bike, I lost my nutrition but I didn’t panic. This was the obstacle race and I would have to use my problem-solving to find a way to win. Sugar, salt and water — that is the key to fuelling. So I took an extra gel and an extra salt pill per hour for electrolyte and sugar and took a bottle of water at the aid stations. I won my fourth consecutive Ironman Australia that day.”
It took Bentley two years to get healthy after a nasty “blow-up” of Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease which causes an abnormal amount of mucus to accumulate in the lungs leading to a chronic lung infection. “My lung function went down to 55 per cent in 2010 and I had to go on IV for five weeks,” she says. “It took a few years to rebound to about 80 per cent lung function, but I didn’t let that stop me from racing the Boston Marathon in 2011.”
In addition to coaching, Bentley is also a professional speaker and a partnership coordinator for triathlons in Ontario. She is an author (check out ‘An Unlikely Champion’) and has done Olympic commentary for open water swimming and race walking events.
“Be the best you can be with your deck of cards.” — Lisa Bentley
Angela Naeth @angelanaeth
South Easton, Mass.
Triathlete Angela Naeth remains firmly rooted in the world of sport. She is still racing on the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 circuit.
In 2018, while battling Lyme disease, she finished eighth at the Ironman World Championships in a time of 8:57.
Naeth now also races on gravel and finished sixth at her first event last year.
She’s also a leader in the sport and has created two teams to help with women empowerment, iracelikeagirl and girlsgetgritty.
“Keep moving forward.” — Angela Naeth
Svein Tuft @svein.tuft
After more than 20 years in the pro peloton, rider Svein Tuft hung up with professional handlebars in 2019.
“I had a great career,” he says, “and did more than I ever imagined possible as a younger rider.”
Tuft is continuing life on two wheels.
“I continue to gravel ride and take people on tours all over the world,” he says. “The love of exploration has never left me.”
“Keep moving until you die.” — Svein Tuft
Barbara Moore Coffey @barbaramoorecoffey
Moore Coffey continues to give back to her community. She has been the Executive Director with Rainbow Literacy and Learning Society for the past 10 years and volunteers on a number of boards.
She has taught dance for the past 21 years and continues to find joy in sharing her knowledge and love of the art form with her students.
Moore Coffey snapped her ACL 11 years ago and has had two surgeries to repair it. She finds that as she ages, she has to listen more to her body. She adapted her workouts to be either low or no impact and no longer wears high heels.
“Accustomed to dancing up to 10 hours a day, this initially was devastating, but is only frustrating now when my knee swells up like a balloon,” she says. “You learn that your body has limits when you have overworked it over the years.”
Moore Coffey continues to be inspired by the little things and finds relief in routine. She swims for an hour each morning, walks for an hour each day and does two hours of floor barre daily.
“Being adaptive is key to staying active.” — Barbara Moore Coffey
Jon Cornish @cornycornish
Since appearing on the cover of IMPACT in 2012, former professional football player Jon Cornish has successfully transitioned out of a 9-year CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders into investment banking.
“To be in the position I am today, was only because I dedicated time to myself during my football playing days,” he says. “Despite being at the top of the game, I still worked as a teller then advisor in a bank branch while simultaneously studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, practicing and working out. Was not easy and there were many times I questioned if I was on the right course. I knew however, that the time would be worth it and here I am today helping my clients live their best lives.”
The former running back retired at the end of the 2015 season. He finished his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Stampeders history with 6,844 yards. He was recognized as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2013 and in 2014, was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian for the third time.
Alongside the Stampeders, Cornish won the Grey Cup in 2008 and 2014.
He was named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
Cornish started a non-profit, the Calgary Black Chambers and has given out 15 scholarships while raising $100K and mentoring more than 200 students in the Calgary area.
“If you want to be the best, you need to be the best in all things,” says Cornish. “The meaning of this is that for the things you try or do, you should attempt to be the best, even if you’re just starting.”
Ocean Bloom @oceanbloom
After appearing on the cover of IMPACT Magazine in 2007, world fitness champion Ocean Bloom found her purpose. In 2010, she experienced an incredibly difficult year, losing a friend to drug addiction and another to cancer. The experiences set her on a path to seek out alternative healing processes in Asia.
She studied yoga, ayurveda, meditation, Thai yoga massage and eastern healing modalities, among other techniques. After years of study, she developed her own healing modality called Conscious Movement Therapy (CMT). “This powerful mind, body and breath technique enables clients to begin an internal healing process,” she says.
Bloom travels internationally, coaching in Five Star hotels and wellness centres offering CMT sessions, leading wellness retreats and teaching yoga and fitness classes.
She has worked with a wide range of clients from soldiers with PTSD and drug addiction to high-profile celbrities and business leaders suffering from stress and depresssion.
Bloom is back in Vancouver working locally with clients and other retreat leaders.
“Bend your body, mend your mind.”
Adventurer Jamie Clarke has been busy since appearing on the cover of IMPACT in 1994 and 1997.
Clarke has made it to the summit of Mount Everest twice: in 1997 and in 2010. His 1997 expedition was actually his third attempt at the summit. In 1991, he made it to 25,000 feet before having to turn back due to bad weather and in 1994, he got within 150m of the summit before turning around due to weather and altitude sickness.
Following his 1997 Everest summit, Clarke did an expedition across the Empty Quarter in the Middle East. It took 40 days.
“Our first appearance on the cover of IMPACT was a watershed moment,” says Clarke. “Alan Hobson and I were embarking on a commitment to a career in climbing/adventure. It was a risk. An untraditional path. We’ve been very fortunate these last 30 years. I’m happy to say we’ve never looked back.”
Clarke has also finished climbing the famous Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent). He began in 1993 with Aconcagua in Argentina and finished in 2008 with Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea.
What’s next for Clarke?
“More adventure! More summits. More movement,” he says. “The specifics of this mountain for that country are irrelevant. The meaningful impact comes from moving and learning. Always, more learning.”
“On the other side of fear is freedom.”
Noah Miller @calgaryhomerealtor
A year after appearing on the cover of IMPACT Magazine, Noah Miller retired from the men’s national water polo team.
His first destination after sport was the service industry where he was a bartender and then a pub manager. He then shifted to the oil and gas industry, staying for 10 years before landing where he is now: real estate.
“I thoghougly enjoy applying my skill sets from my sporting and business careers in helping people navigate through real estate transactions from beginning to end and beyond,” he says.
Miller ran a start-up men’s water polo club in Calgary called the Bowness Monster Water Polo Club, which won three national titles in the early 2010s. He was also involved with the Calgary Torpedoes Water Polo Club for three seasons.
Since his retirement from sport, Miller has experienced plenty of ups and downs.
“Ultimately, I credit my time and skill sets acquired in sport that have allowed me to get through stressful and trying times,” he says. “I am thankful for all those opportunities, experiences, and connections I have made in sport.”
“Be persistently consistent and consistently persistent without compromising superb customer service.”
Be inspired! Read about our 15 cover story personalities in our 30th Anniversary Edition!