Category Archives: elite athletes

OUR FLAG, OUR PRIDE – Celebrating 50 Years

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What an amazing experience to be part of the human flag to commemorate the 50th birthday of our Canadian Flag!

Held at Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) at ice level, hundreds of us dressed in red looked up high at the ceiling while renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky captured the shot (above).

Below you can see a close up of Sebastian and I, along with fellow Olympians, Pinball Clemons & his Argonauts, and other proud Torontonians.  Learn more at:   http://arts.lgontario.ca/flag/

Close up Canadian flag

Join Kika & Jessica’s Fliptastic Fall!

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KIKA the Upside-Down Girl – we are going to have a fliptastic fall!

So many great events coming up and I’m so honoured to be part of them – as a speaker, presenter, fan, panel guest and all around creative innovator. Please consider joining in the fun  – these events are sure to ignite, inspire and empower you to make the world a more creative, active and healthy place!  btw – the new book cover pictured above is pretty fun isn’t it?

Fall highlights below:

A Somersaultilicious Summer Ahead!

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4-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser holds a copy of Kika the Upside Down Girl, which she graciously endorsed on the back cover – I hold her gold medal from Sochi. Very Inspiring!!

It is indeed exciting times for Jessica, Kika the Upside Down Girl and the FL!P movement!  Spring has been full of wonderful opportunities to engage with students, athletes, coaches, publishing & literary professionals, festival guests and happy Kika the Upside Down readers.

As we look ahead, I am thrilled to be engaging in so many amazing events that will undoubtedly build our community of confident, creative and fliptastic fans! 

Highlights:

The Art of Leadership for Women Conference – attendee & Hayley Wickenheiser fan (see photo above!). May 29, Toronto.

Gymnastics Ontario’s National Acro Cup – Kika the Upside Down Girl presenter and vendor  at inaugural competition.  June 6-7, Humber College, Toronto.

Pickering Invitational Gymnastics Competition – Kika the Upside Down Girl speaker and author signing.  June 21, Pickering.

Pan Am Games one year countdown – athlete representative & speaker. July 12, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

Camp Woodward – Guest coach, physical literacy expert & FL!P presenter. June 28 – July 5, Woodward, PA, USA.

Literature for Life – Reading Circle facilitator & FL!P Approach presenter. August, Toronto.

Seneca College – lecturer/speaker. July & August, Seneca College, Toronto.

Word on the Street – Kika the Upside Down Girl kids stage presenter & author signing. September 21, Queen’s Park Circle, Toronto.

Chapters Indigo Yorkdale – Kika the Upside Down Girl reading & book signing. TBA September, Toronto.

INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair – Kika the Upside Down Girl presenter & author signing. November 13 – 16, Toronto.

Reading for the Love of It Conference – Kika the Upside Down Girl presenter & author signing. TBA February 2015, Toronto.

3 Reasons to Fling into Spring with Kika!

Revolution girlsSo many reasons to celebrate spring – warmer weather, more outdoor play, lots of Easter chocolate & new opportunities to hang with Kika the Upside Down Girl!

# 1.  Kika has a few new homes to share with you, including a permanent spot in the Archives of Canada Library, which I feel honoured and grateful for.  Books are now for sale @ CHAPTERS / INDIGO Bay/Bloor and at the amazing TYPE BOOKS. Books also for sale @ amazon.ca and through Jessica directly for organizations/bulk orders.

What should we do next? Having sold 750 of my original 1000 books, I’m going to Continue reading

Talking to Kids About the Olympics – Sochi style!

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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!

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“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

Kika is Looking Swingazing & Fliptastic!

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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

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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

Reconnecting to my Gymnastics Past

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Mya, Shalini, Hannah and Veronica hanging off the beam @ Birchmount Gymnastics!

One of the best things about deciding to self-publish a kids book with a gymnastics theme is the opportunity I have had to visit and connect with gymnastics clubs in the GTA.  Entering the gym and walking on or around all the cushy mats, listening to the hum of the AC, seeing the progressions unfold, smelling the chalk, listening to the chatter – it has been eye-opening and strangely familiar. In some ways I feel like I’ve Continue reading