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  • Writer's pictureSarah Lewis

Calgary 1988: becoming an Olympian the defining moment

It's been a highly fulfilling few weeks including recalling my defining moment competing at the Calgary 1988 Games, along with election as Vice President of the Sustainable Mountain Alliance and attending the Global Esport Federation Commission Meetings, and more besides. The Howden Insurance International Women's Day Event and the All-Party Group for Sport session at the House of Commons 'Embracing Equity - The Power of Women's Sport were key events on my agenda too. The range of diverse, interesting, and meaningful activities contributing to society I have undertaken over the past few weeks, with sport as the key driver makes me feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to do so. Receiving a 35th anniversary card in February for participating in the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games was a lovely gesture by the British Olympic Association. It then encouraged the former British Ski Federation Chairman to arrange a reunion "of the band" later in the year and we're all enthusiastic scattered over various parts of the world!

I attended the AGM of the Sustainable Mountain Alliance in Lausanne and was elected Vice-President of this fantastic organisation, to contribute to the mission of providing a collaborative platform to facilitate the transition to sustainable sport and tourism in the mountains at this crucial time for the future of our environment.

The activities of the Global Esports Federation activities are developing tremendously, fully in line with its mission to prioritise the development of an inclusive, safe, healthy and sustainable Esports ecosystem. A particular focus is on responsible gaming, holistic wellness, fair play, education and career pathways for players and athletes.


Our first quarterly GEF International Relations and Development Commission of the year convened online, followed three days later by the Global Esports Games Riyadh 2023 Coordination Commission. Staged online together with the European and Pan-Am Esports Championships, this new concept enabled a highly effective sharing of knowledge.

The International Women's Day has become a significant date on the calendar for the whole of society, and I was inspired by presenting to a large in-person and on-line audience at the Howden Group's special IWD 2023 event, followed by Q&A's and a most enjoyable networking session.

A highlight this month was certainly attending the All-Party Group for Sport session at the House of Commons 'Embracing Equity - The Power of Women's Sport. And what a turnout, even the standing room was overflowing for a two-hour event. The Right Honourable Stuart Andrew, Minister of Sport, was overwhelmed and equally inspired by the engagement of the audience to contribute to make sport more equitable for everyone.


In signing off before the next month's full programme gets underway, if anyone would like some inspiration and fantastic lessons, have a listen duto Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley who shared her story on the High Performance Podcast Dame Stephanie Shirley is a businesswoman, technology pioneer and philanthropist. Currently at the age of 89, Stephanie has had a long career championing women in the workplace and new forms of technology, including being part of the team that programmed Concorde’s black box flight recorder. After being born in Germany, Stephanie was brought over to the UK on the Kindertransport during the WWII and lived with foster parents for many years.

This turbulent childhood has shaped Stephanie’s life and career, teaching her how valuable life is and making her determined to do something good with every day. She discusses this with Jake and Damian in an open and honest conversation, along with the importance of being disruptive and innovative in business, whilst standing up for the people who need it, among much more.

In the beginning of her career, she used the pen name ‘Steve’ to ensure she was taken seriously by her male counterparts. She pioneered empowering women, disabled people in the workplace by allowing them to work from home, something unheard of in the 1960’s.

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