Week 6: Jamie Sale


Jamie Sale was born in Calgary and raised in Red Deer, Alberta. She began skating at an early age and moved into pairs figure skating by age twelve. Sale teamed up with her first partner in 1989 and competed in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway and finished twelfth overall. Then in 1998, Sale paired up with partner David Pelletier and had a short but dynamic four year amateur career together. Sale and Pelletier became the first pair to win Worlds held in Canada since 1984 and were also awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as outstanding Canadian athletes. Sale and Pelletier won gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, a huge accomplishment as Canada had not earned an Olympic gold medal in pairs figure skating since 1960. Following their Olympic win, Sale and Pelletier began touring with Stars on Ice and were inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009. Later that year, Sale began her first season with CBC’s Battle of the Blades where she was paired with former NHL player Craig Simpson. The duo went on to win the competition in 2009 and married in 2012. Sale is an advocate for special needs and sits on the national board for Special Olympics and works with fellow Olympian Mark Tewksbury on the Champions Network, a group that spreads the positive word of Special Olympics.


She also played soccer, softball and did gymnastics as a youngster but the age of 7 she had to choose between gymnastics and figure skating. She continued playing softball and soccer until the age of 12 when her skating started becoming very competitive and took up all of her time.


How have sports helped you develop skills for your work today and be a better leader?


I believe sport has taught me about adversity, how to persevere through struggles and how to “problem solve”. I have learned that visualization is a major key to success and worked very hard at it. Being able to see yourself do something perfectly is so important in life, where the mind goes the body follows. Learning how to accept people’s differences and use them as strengths is another important part of sport and life when you are working with others.


How do you define leadership?  What values matter to you most as a leader?


A good leader for me is someone who has a strong and confident personality, someone who can be calm under fire but also deliver under pressure. A go getter! Someone who has a grander vision, can see potential from everyone and motivate them. I would also say someone who believes in inclusion, it’s important to make everyone feel they are a part of the journey and that they matter too.


What is one piece of advice would you have for young female athletes today?


Dream Big!!! Work hard always but have fun doing it! You should never need anyone to motivate you, you need to have fire in your belly and believe in yourself even when you’re struggling because we all struggle from time to time. Remember that it’s all about effort, attitude and not quitting. It’s not about being the best, the ones who are successful are not always the most talented they are the ones who just don’t quit when times get tough and they have a great attitude and the best effort.


Twitter: @jamiesale