Cheryl Bernard is an Olympic medalist, award winning curler, and one of Canada’s most recognizable inspirational sports speakers.She’s since retired from curling, but her athletic accomplishments span 4 Alberta Women’s Championships, TSN Skins finalist, a silver medal in the 2010 Olympics where she proudly represented Canada.
Curling wasn’t always the focus of her heart and mind. At the age of 23, Cheryl Bernard decided to start her own general insurance brokerage in Calgary Canada. She decided to focus on creating an agency culture rooted in empowerment and dynamism. This allowed her to grow her agency to 6 million in sales in 11 years.
Satisfied with the success of the agency, Cheryl Bernard decided to re-orient her focus to curling, writing, and fundraising, so she sold her agency to the Western Union Insurance.
About 6 months after she sold her agency, her father was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and given less than a year to live. Cheryl Bernard spent this time fundraising for research while caring for her father. He passed away after 2 years, but her father’s illness proved to be the catalyst she needed for her to create the annual Curl for a Cure in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This event ran annually from 2003 to 2007 and raised over 1.3 million dollars in support.
In 2005, Benard co-authored and published Between the Sheets: Creating Curling Champions, where she details the mental aspects of curling. Silver Lining was the final section the book, and was released in 2011.
Cheryl Bernard and her teammates won the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Edmonton in 2009 and were scheduled to appear in Vancouver, and represent Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics. After 10 grueling days facing the best competition the world of curling has to offer, team Canada took home the silver, earning the respect and admiration of her country. Two months after the Olympics, Cheryl was nominated by her peers for 2010 Most Valuable Player in Women’s Curling.
During each stage of her life, Cheryl Bernard has always prioritized the need to give back. She’s volunteered for the Canadian Curling Association, the World Curling Tour, served as spokesperson for Terry Fox Run and Children’s Miracle Network. She currently devotes most of her energy to Goodwill Industries of Alberta as their spokesperson and ambassador.
As one of Canada’s leading inspirational sports speakers, her passion for motivating others to reach through goals is palpable. She stresses the importance of leadership and teamwork through powerful presentations that draw on her experience in business as well as professional sports.
In her featured TED Talk Let Your Choices Write Your Story, Cheryl Bernard goes into intimate detail about her Olympic experience, the love and admiration she felt for and from her countrymen and women, and how her friends and family understood the limited role she had to play in their lives in order to accomplish her goals.
Cheryl Bernard reminds the audience that their choices define each moment of their lives. Every waking breath, each successful step forward, and each challenge is ultimately up to how we as individuals decide to define that experience.
Cheryl Bernard drives home how you cannot let others make the choice to tell our stories for us. We have to tell our own. Book Cheryl Bernard Here.
By Gordon Breault,
Executive Director, Speakers Bureau of Canada
Jan 12th, 2017