Author Archives: jessica

Talking to Kids About the Olympics – Sochi style!


Jessica Tudos and her son Sebastian ready to cheer on Team Canada in Sochi!

As the Winter Games unfold over the next two weeks, this is a great opportunity to bring kids together through sport.  But you may be wondering what to talk to  kids about while you watch?  Human rights? Security threats? Palm tress at the Winter Olympics? Classiest outfits at the Opening Ceremonies? Perhaps, but I think there is more…

Drawing on my 1984 Olympic gymnastics past and Mommy-to-a-preschooler present (as seen in our Go Team Canada Go Olympic picture above!), here are my Sochi-specific recommendations: Continue reading

Why Living Upside Down is Fliptastic!

Kika holding sign at end copy

“Kids like me, just wanna be free, upside down, you and me!”This tune, Kika the Upside Down Girl’s theme song, is central to the story of an adventurous girl who loves living upside down in a right side up world.

Geared to 4-10 year olds, with a message that transcends age, Kika the Upside Down Girl is an entertaining and empowering story that will inspire kids to explore their unique interests, despite the pressure they may feel to conform. Some incredible upside down adventures and heartfelt explorations at home, school, outside and in a “fliptastic place” are shown in vibrant and quirky detail in this 32-page hardcover picture book.

As an Olympian, educator & Mom, I created this story to Continue reading

Inspiring Girls to Live Upside Down in a Right Side Up World

Jessica and Ana P from Gemini Gymnastics

The U.N. has declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.  Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” What will you do to inspire girls?

As an educator, Olympic gymnast, Mom, and former “girl child”, I am excited to see events happening worldwide to encourage the flourishing of girl power and inspire gender-free opportunity for all.

I also wonder what my responsibility is towards encouraging positive movement forward for girls? In asking myself this, I realized that sharing my own story is one way to inspire action and change.

As a young girl, Continue reading

PRE-ORDER Kika the Upside Down Girl!

Kika.page6.7 copy


Kika the Upside Down Girl is a fun & inspiring kids story about a girl who loves living life upside down, despite the pressure to remain right side up, like everyone else. She perseveres and finds true happiness in a most fliptastic place – the Gymnastics Emporium!

As an Olympic gymnast, edupreneur and Mom, I want to inspire kids (and the grown ups who read Kika!), to fully explore the ups, downs & upside downs of their interests and choices. Overcoming challenges and uncertainty to carve a meaningful life path continue in my life, and my hope is that Kika’s story will inspire readers to keep turning their worlds upside down in order to find fulfillment and joy in theirs.

Together, let’s empower kids to be all that they can be – whatever direction they choose!
1. Visit KIKA’s KICKSTARTER ONLINE CAMPAIGN PAGE – learn more about the project and help realize its publication through pre sales; your support is most appreciated!
2. Share the campaign link with your network – the book makes a great holiday gift…
3. Send us your upside down photos by email and use hashtag #kikaupsidedown on all social media to see your images immediately at

Kika the Upside Down Girl kickstarter campaign runs Sept 30 – Oct 30


CLICK HERE to go directly to our kickstarter page.   More at

Our campaign runs Sept. 30 to Oct. 30 – great rewards for supporters who pre-order; including 1st edition books, readings & workshops with Jessica, a lunch with Olympians and more!  With your help we can publish this entertaining and inspiring kids story about an adventurous girl who loves living upside down, despite the pressure she feels to remain right side up. It’s time for Kika the Upside down Girl’s debut on the global online stage!

Forget Hiring a Business Coach – Commit to Kickstarter!

KSIf you really want to get your creative project done, look no further than kickstarter, your new business coach… along with Jessica’s 1-page project check sheet below.

Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding platform that solicits funds “from the collective” to realize creative dreams and projects.

As the creator of Kika the Upside Down Girl, a kid’s book about a young gymnast-in-the-making who loves living her life upside down despite the pressures to remain right side up, I thought long and hard about how I could get this story published. Once I decided self-publishing was the way to go, and that kickstarter was the best platform for my project, the real work began Continue reading

Kika is Looking Swingazing & Fliptastic!


With a month to go until we launch our KICKSTARTER FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN to self-publish  the story, I am so happy to see Kika coming to life in full colour!  Have really enjoyed collaborating with Mike Motz on the imagery aspect, and am mindful of our upside down journey from idea to reality getting the illustrations done!  Kika’s sheer joy is captured so well here, however, for anyone who knows about gymnastics, closed eyes on vault is a bit scary!

Boys in “Girlie” Sports like Gymnastics


Evolution Gymnastics Aurora’s Julien, Daniel & Kieran

As a follower of fellow Olympic gymnast turned educator and inspirational health advocate Kyle Shewfelt (@KyleShewfelt), I read with interest his recent blog post about the challenges boys face when they decide to participate in, and commit to, a “girlie” sport like gymnastics. The piece resonated with me on two levels – as a former female gymnast and as a parent of a young boy.

As a young female gymnast, I never encountered any hostility or judgement about my choice.  Often, it was the opposite, “Wow, gymnastics seems like such a great fit for you; it’s athleticism and artistry all rolled into one.  Good luck with it.”  Never had to think twice about gender and why I chose this particular sport. Besides, the male gymnasts we competed alongside were so much older than us, we never had much in common!

But, for boys like Kyle, things were a bit different.  Kyle shares, Continue reading