Sami Jo Small

Three-time Olympian and Motivational Speaker

Sami-Jo Small, Sports, Hockey, Olympics Motivational Speaker
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Sami Jo Small grew up on the outdoor hockey rinks of Winnipeg, MB. Her passion for the game was honed in the boys' minor hockey system. As the only girl she was forced each and every day to prove that she belonged through hard work and determination. She dreamt, like her teammates, of someday playing in the NHL, but also dreamt of someday stepping on to the podium at the Olympic Games.

She accepted a scholarship to Stanford University for track and field to throw the discus and javelin. Her dream of participating in the Olympic Games flourished until injury plagued her career and she consoled her feelings of failure by returning to the game she grew up loving. Hockey became her passion again as she played on the Stanford Men’s team even garnering PAC-10 MVP honours while earning her degree in mechanical engineering.

Her childhood dream became a reality when she accepted a spot on the 1998 Olympic Games team traveling to Nagano, Japan. Women’s hockey was on the rise and Sami Jo was a huge part of its success. She has since won five World Championships and has twice been named Championship MVP. She is a three time Olympian and has been a member of two Olympic Gold Medal Winning teams.

Sami Jo currently works as a motivational speaker as well is an owner of a hockey school. After 22 years of playing hockey at the highest level, she was recently the General Manager of the women's professional hockey club, the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

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Speaking Topics

Goal Setting and Achieving Success: Lessons from Olympic-Level Preparation

In this talk, Sami Jo Small can draw on her experiences as an Olympic athlete to discuss the importance of setting clear goals and the dedication required to achieve them. She can provide insights into the rigorous training and mindset required to reach the highest levels of performance, which can resonate with business professionals striving for success in their careers.


Teamwork and Collaboration: Building High-Performance Teams

Sami Jo Small can share her experiences as a member of successful sports teams and highlight the critical role of teamwork in achieving common objectives. She can discuss strategies for fostering collaboration, effective communication, and trust among team members, which are valuable lessons for businesses looking to create high-performing teams.


Resilience and Adaptability: Thriving in a Changing Business Landscape

This topic can focus on the challenges and setbacks Sami Jo Small faced during her career and how she learned to bounce back and adapt to different situations. She can provide insights into developing resilience and adaptability skills, which are essential qualities for professionals navigating the ever-changing business world.


"The power of belonging to a team really shone through as Sami Jo shared her life challenges. I've seen a lot of speakers and few compare with what she delivered. The speech was well constructed and Sami Jo connected with the audience during her delivery. I was most impressed by her vulnerability and sharing of the not so glamorous struggle in making a decision to put the needs of the team ahead of her own. Sami Jo moved me to tears through her authenticity. The message was powerful. I recommend Sami Jo Small as a professional keynote speaker." Connie Bird, Life is Sales