Joan McCusker

Olympic Gold Medalist, Motivational Speaker, Former Teacher B.Ed.

About Joan McCusker

Joan McCusker believes it is ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Through her experiences as a teacher, mom, world champion curler, Olympic Gold Medallist and CBC Commentator, Joan has collected a number of observations on the attitudes that propel ordinary people to build extraordinary lives. With a big smile, plenty of humour and tons of Olympic examples, Joan explains the type of attitude and teamwork that builds success in every aspect of life. Her first example is her own journey. Joan was part of a curling foursome that dominated the world of women’s curling in the 1990’s. With her teammates, Sandra Schmirler, Jan Betker and Marcia Gudereit, Joan won three Canadian and three World Curling Titles in 1993, 1994 and 1997. While balancing young families and careers, the team rallied in the fall of 1997 to win the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials and the right to represent Canada at the Olympics. These victories prepared them well for their greatest achievement: a Gold Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan! Joan joined the CBC Sports Curling telecast as a commentator in 2001. She continued to curl competitively with Team Betker who placed fourth in Canada in 2003 and in the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in December, 2005. She resigned her teaching position in 1998 to dedicate more time to being a mom, curler, broadcaster and motivational speaker. Joan’s travels have shown her successful people in all walks of life. She sees the parallels of sports psychology and successful strategies used in business, community and family. Joan has plenty of examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary things!!
Her presentation style is light and humourous, but her message is clear.

Keynotes and Speaking Topics

  • Characteristics of Successful People This is my most requested speech. After years of travelling the world with competitive curling, Joan shares her observations on common characteristics of successful people. The message is clear and the presentation is light and often humorous.
  • Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things – Many ‘famous’ people are very ordinary. They do extraordinary things because of their work ethic, commitment to goals, attitude, use of team, etc.
  • Building Successful Teams How can we apply sports psychology to the workplace, our communities, our relationships, our lives?? The answer lies in the development of a team perspective. Who is on my side? How can we work better together? Joan develops the principles of successful teams as well as the pitfalls of dysfunctional teams.
  • Leadership Excellence What does good leadership look like? Joan shows the qualities of great people who find themselves leading.
  • Winning Attitudes In business, in sport, in life, attitude is everything! Joan gives her interpretation of Dr. Dennis Waitley’s Olympic Attitude Rings. Many examples are drawn from Joan’s experiences as an athlete, teacher and mom.
  • Curling Tales – Sports Banquets This category includes celebrity sports dinners or entertainment only type events. Joan relates humorous stories about her team and individual experiences that were had while chasing curling dreams.
  • Preparing to Win – Athletes in Training This is an athlete/coach/performer specific speech. Joan breaks down the ideal performance into preparation, performance and post performance areas.
  • High Performance Consulting ‘ What does high performance look like? Joan facilitates dialogue and makes group presentations on the pursuit of excellence.

Career Highlights

  • Provincial Champion, 4th place at Canadians (Team Betker) – 2003
  • Provincial Finalists 1999 and 2002
  • Inducted into Canadian Sports Hall of Fame – 2000
  • Olympic Gold Medalist – 1998
  • JVC – TSN Women’s Skins Game Winner – 1998
  • Canadian Press Team of the Year – 1998
  • Canadian Sport Awards Female Team of the Year – 1998
  • Three time Canadian and World Women’s Curling Champion – 1993, 1994, 1997 (Team Schmirler)
  • All Star Team Second at Canadian Championships – 1994, 1995, 1997, 2003
  • Provincial Mixed Curling Champion – 1992

Client Reviews

  • “I’ve had so many comments about your great speech. If that wasn’t your ‘funny’ one, I’d like to hear what is. I knew long ago you would be the perfect guest for the type of atmosphere we try to create and you exceeded all my hopes.” – London Sports Celebrity Dinner
  • I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how exceptionally well received your keynote presentation was. I have been going to these things for 16 years and you are the only one who has received a standing ovation! You ended our conference on a super high note, which is exactly what I wanted for our group. – L. McGeough, Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, 22nd Annual Convention
  • The Co-operative Managers’ Association held its 50th Annual Conference recently at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. We were privileged to have Joan McCusker as the closing speaker. Speaking to an audience of 175 persons, Joan provided an entertaining and inspirational presentation on ‘Characteristics of Successful People’. Joan uses herself as an example of personal growth from small town Saskatchewan to becoming an Olympic champion. Her presentation was fast paced, humourous and uses many anecdotes of life as an Olympian. Her presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session … and she displayed her curling wardrobe and Olympic Gold Medal which was modeled and photographed by many in the audience. Audience evaluation of her talk indicated 90% felt it exceeded their expectations with comments such as ‘excellent choice, wow! Awesome, and Fantastic’. – B. Baumgartner, Co-operative Managers’ Association
  • Joan connected to our group immediately with her humour and life stories. She is a high-energy speaker that keeps the crowd very interested. You do not have to know much about curling to appreciate her ‘curling stories’. They are universal to human nature. We were given an insight into the fame of a small town girl and we saw the Olympic experience from her perspective. Joan McCusker received a standing ovation from our teachers and it was well deserved. She is a professional speaker in every way and has honed her speech so it has the highest value to her audience. – B. Eisner, Tri-Star Teachers’ Convention