Mark Tewksbury is a celebrated Canadian Sports Hero and first openly gay Canadian Olympian to come out publicly in 1998. He is a human rights activist and accomplished motivational speaker and author.
On May 13th, 2019 I was reminded of all of this and captivated by Mark's compassion and empathy as he addressed callers with Judy Aldous on CBC Radio - Alberta at Noon. Mark spoke candidly and heartfelt about what it meant to be a gay athlete and how difficult it was for him to come out publicly. He spoke of the fear and hesitation of speaking his truth to people, but he also reflected on the support and love he received from the sports world, friends, family and beyond.
I have always been a fan of Mark's, he was an inspiration of excellence in my youth and continues to exemplify the best we hope for in sport, and of humanity.
In swimming, where body image is so much at the forefront of the sport, Mark is an incredible champion for athletes, showing them that their teams, coaches and their swimming communities are safe places for them to be themselves.
Here are some clubs that cater specifically to supporting the LGBTTQQIAP community, Making Wave Swim Club of Edmonton and Different Strokes Swim Club of Calgary, as well as the Downtown Swim Club of Toronto.