Name: Devon Kershaw
Sport: Cross Country Skiing
Hometown: Sudbury, ON
Favourite Sports Memory: Winning the World Championships in front of a hundred thousand fans in Oslo, NOR with my teammate Alex Harvey in 2011 – the whole stadium went quiet when we beat the hometown favorites right at the finish line.
How you got involved in your sport: My family has always been very active, and cross country skiing was just something that our family did together in the Northern Ontario winters.
The moment you knew you wanted to represent Canada: As a young kid, I remember telling my parents that I wanted to be in the Olympics. At age 6 though I must admit it was to be the Capitan of the hockey team. Also, I wasn’t opposed to playing for the “Canadiens” either
“What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Emerson
“A winner is a dreamer that never gave up” – Nelson Mandela
CAN Fund Testimonial: CAN Fund’s support in my training and racing has allowed me to focus on improving – pure and simple – leading into an ever important Olympic year. There are many costs in an amateur athlete’s life and with those costs come stress. CAN Fund helps alleviate those types of stressors and allowing athletes like myself to put all our energy into being the best we can be – when it matters – on the World stage – proudly wearing and representing the Maple Leaf for the World to see.
– 2011 World Champion – Team Sprint – Oslo, NOR
– 2010 Olympic Games – 4th (Team Sprint) and 5th (50km Classic)
– 2012 – Overall World Cup Runner-Up (2nd place)
Share one valuable tool that you use on a daily basis that helps you to be the best athlete you can be: A valuable tool I use on a daily basis… That’s a tough one! I guess a simple tool I use daily that I find really helpful for a number of reasons is writing in a journal. I have a ton of simple journals at home with my thoughts, fears, highlights, defeats, musings, too many profanities written in frustration, etc… that I’ve filled up through the years. I find it to be a great release if you are feeling stressed, but also great to have when things are going great – you can go back and read about the good times you’ve had and it helps realize that nothing is forever – not the rough patches, not the good times – it’s always in flux and life is about the journey. Dorky maybe, but when you take the time to go back and read what you’ve felt, it’s dead true.
Who is one person in your life that has impacted your career and what was it that they taught you: My Mom. I know it’s corny to say that – but without her passion, love and support there’s no way I would be where I am today. I am so grateful to have such a supportive family who have always been great at reminding me how to keep perspective – through great races and terrible ones – they’re love and support is deeply appreciated and greatly felt. For being able to compete in sport is a privilege – not a right – and it’s for the passion and love of sport that I compete. My family is always so good with that – win or lose, to be a good person is what’s truly important.
Have you read any articles or books or watched any videos or movies recently that really inspired you:
This fall I watched “Matchstick Productions” film “McConkey” about freeskiing legend, Shayne McConkey. I was really moved by the film – definitely worth the watch!
I love the Banff Mountain Film Festival – and find that a lot of the films shown are inspirational, informative, and beautiful. If “the best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival” comes through your time – get out and watch some amazing outdoor adventure films!
I read a lot, but varying subjects and genres (novels, non-fiction, I have a magazine subscription to the New Yorker and I find a lot of those articles really interesting!) but here are a few great adventure and or sports titles that I loved and are worth the read.
“Open” – Andre Agassi
“Endurance – Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” – Alfred Lansing
“Annapurna” – Maurice Herzog
“Touching the Void” – Joe Simpson
Some great novels off the top of my head,
“A Fine Balance” – Rohinton Mistry
“East of Eden” – John Steinbeck
… too many great books to name! Reading is always a great pastime and something I do a lot of on the road.
Hobbies – I “play” guitar, although poorly. I enjoy reading (as I’ve said above), photography, music, fly fishing, and have a passion for the mountains.
Hidden Talents – I would say I have no hidden talents – which perhaps is a sad – but true – fact.
Superstitions – I used to have a lot of them, I guess from playing hockey growing up – but I’m losing them now… I used to have a lucky toque I’d wear for racing when I felt good in my warm up, lucky socks, lucky song I’d listen to last before leaving the hotel/house before a race, etc… It got a bit ridiculous actually now that I read what I just wrote, haha. I guess now I like to have a double espresso 1h before the start of every race… I haven’t lost them all I guess!