Kelly VanderBeek and Dave Ford Travel to the Arctic to Inspire Youth
Kelly VanderBeek and Dave Ford, former Olympic athletes and community outreach advocates, joined our ‘Baffin Island – Jewel of the High Arctic’ voyage this summer, to connect with Northern communities and inspire youth to pursue their dreams.
Both Kelly and Dave’s paths to the Olympics were unique. Kelly didn’t grow up skiing down massive mountains. It was only through her dedication and hard work that Kelly was able to achieve her career goals. Dave’s story is similar. Growing up in Edmonton, his access to whitewater kayaking was limited, but Dave made his ways into the Olympic games as a whitewater kayaker, despite the challenges to get there.
“My husband and I want to give back to the sporting community and country as much as we can,” said VanderBeek who helps organizations such as Right to Play, Fast & Female and Ski Fit North. “We’ve had so many strong influences in our lives that it’s important for us to continue on that tradition.”
During the expedition cruise, Kelly and Dave spent time connecting with locals in Pond Inlet, specifically sharing their inspirational life story with youth on how to overcome your inner fears and foster positive cultural change.
Kelly’s motivational speeches for youth have had a long history with her foundation Kelly VanderBeek Racing (KVR). “We had a dream but it took so much creativity to how we achieved our dream. There are ways to learn skills that can make you competitive on a global scale even if you come from a very unlikely place,” explains Kelly.
Read more about Kelly and Dave’s adventure in the Arctic and CLICK HERE.
Olympic Athlete, Special Guest
Kelly, who now works primarily as Broadcaster & Speaker, brings her experience as an Olympic Downhiller and World Cup Medallist into all aspects of her life. She is also involved in several outreach programs such as Right to Play and KVR Ski Team and KVR Kids Fit. Many assume travelling at speeds over 144km/h down an icy mountain meant she was fearless, however she is anything but. Kelly sees her fear as part of her humanity and has learned how to face it, overcome it and, in the end, harness it.
Professional Athlete and Guest Speaker
David Ford has been a member of the Canadian National Whitewater Slalom Kayak Team since 1984 and is a World Champion and five time Olympian. David is proudly sharing his successful overcoming of athletic prejudges and stigmata, proving that anything is possible. David served as a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Athletes Council, countless volunteer hours in the education & sport development realms, and also works with groups as both a speaker & corporate trainer.
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