EM&B #142: Rising Stars is the topic on this episode of Exploring Mind and Body. Thomas Williams is an aspiring young athlete who’s goal is to represent Canada as an Olympian. Now we all have heard great success stories, we’re all fans of the over night success but many of us don’t know the time, dedication and sacrifices it takes to become that overnight success, that rising star. The truth of the matter is there rarely is such a thing as an overnight success, the time and effort alone when no one is watching, when most are sleeping, when you have a goal that you’re so determined to reach; this all makes the difference in weather you achieve or not, weather you transform from that rising star to reach your ultimate goal.
Who we’re interviewing
Thomas was kind enough to put together a bio of himself so you have a better grasp of who he is, what he doesn’t and what he’s looking to accomplish:
My name is Thomas Williams. I’m 22 years old and I am a Senior Competitive Ice Dancer for Canada. I have been figure skating since I was 4 years old and I started to ice dance when I was seven. Ice Dancing is my passion.
My first competition in ice dance was also when I was seven and my first Sectional competition took place the following year. When I was 11, my partner and I won first place at the Alberta Sectional Championship. As first place Juvenile dance team for Alberta, we skated at the BMO Junior Canadians that year.
I loved the experience and knew I wanted to keep skating at the competitive level.
I knew that if I wanted to achieve my goals I would have to move to a better training center. In April 2008, just four days after my 17th birthday, I moved away from my family to Waterloo, Ontario to train at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club, with my new partner Olga Lioudvinevitch. In our two seasons together we were selected as alternates for two ISU Junior Grand Prix competitions.
After two seasons in Kitchener-Waterloo, Olga and I went our separate ways and I had the opportunity to move to Vancouver and team up with Nicole Orford. We started to train at the Centre of Excellence in Burnaby, BC with Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe, ten time Canadian Medalists, World and Olympic Ice Dancers.
After four seasons together Nicole and I have made tremendous progress. We were the 2011 Canadian Junior Champions and 2013 Canadian Bronze Medalists. In total, Nicole and I have competed at 12 international competitions medaling at three of the
I love skating and I am committed to working hard to reach my dream of competing as a medal contender at the Olympics in 2018.
For the past four seasons I have been paying my own living and training expenses. In order to pay for these expenses, I work as a coach six days a week. While I love the coaching aspect and the money I can make helps pay for my training, the extra time I spend on the ice coaching (and partnering) is having a detrimental effect on my own training and in realizing my goals as a competitive ice dancer.
- You might be surprised to hear Thomas talk about how many hours he’s actually on the ice and how much time he puts in as a rising star. They wake up very early, spend hours on the ice have a 15 minute break and the are back on the ice for a couple more hours.
- Thomas talks about nutrition and how he supplements his body with food.
- It’s quite shocking to hear how much it actually costs for Thomas to train full time and how difficult it can be to try and support yourself though this whole process.
Danielle Kott who was on the Canadian National Track Team and World Champion finalist joked around with me on a past show (Reducing Inflammation) about how she was tired about being a broke athlete; I always say at least in baseball, they pay you enough to keep you hungry. So it was great that Thomas had the chance to come on and let us know it’s no different for those training to be Olympians. It’s difficult, it really is; training full time, having a job, trying to support yourself as a rising star is no easy feat. Of course friends and family help but there’s only so much they can do. I wanted to share a fundraiser with you in case you are in the position to help. It’s always great to support local athletes and if you are in a position to help why not contribute to someone that very well could be representing our Country at the Olympics.
The Saskatoon Farm is holding an event to help raise money for Thomas to train on May 24th.
- 5pm shopping and cocktails
- 7pm Dinner
- Tickets are $47.25 each
- They are also accepting: live auction items, silent auction items, cash donations and ticket sales (so if you are interested in helping out there are other ways to contribute)
I just want to say a quick thank you to our rising star, Thomas coming on air. I’d also like to wish him the best of luck with everything moving forward. Thank you to our listeners out there, I always appreciate every chance you have to listen, comment, share, download and more. You all give me the inspiration to keep moving forward and getting better. And thanks so much to my producer Jamison Brown who makes the show what it is. I hope you found some inspiration out there if you’re a rising star. Keep moving forward, don’t let anything get in your way and you’ll succeed no matter what the outcome is.
I’m sure Thomas would love to hear from you, so if you’d like to contact him or follow him you can find him at the links below: