Confidence, Competence, Joy, and Flow
Sandra Molendyk
Sport Shaman


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Gonzaga School of Professional Studies

March 11, 2011
Heeding the Call of Turtle and Black Jaguar (link)
Interview with Marlene Martzke
Gonzaga University
School of Professional Studies

"Feats of athletic strength, prowess, and skill are often attributed to determination, commitment, training, and guts. But in a world where the difference between victory and defeat can be measured in one-hundredths of a second, sometimes it takes a little more. Call in Sandra Molendyk, Organizational Leadership student and sport shaman. A resident of Vancouver, B.C., Molendyk is a spiritual healer who has been practicing her unique brand of healing arts for 17 years. World-class athletes feel her unusual talent has given them a new edge to their performance..." Click here to read more.



November 2010
Turtle Power
AQ - the Magazine of Simon Fraser University - Alumni Watching
Remember Jon Montgomery's amazing skeleton run at the 2010 Winter Olympics? The gold-medal performance followed a visit by the entire skeleton team to Sandra Molendyk (BA'02, GDBus'04) in Revelstoke, who calls herself a "sports shaman." They had their sleds blessed, built a totem pole, and discovered their individual spirit animal. Montgomery's is the turtle, and he proudly wore the symbol on his helmet and sled.

Montgomery chats with George about the Sport Shaman on CBC's "The Hour"
The Sport Shaman - Sandra  Molendyk - was honoured  by Olympic Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery when Jon discussed Sandra Shamanic work on CBC's Late Night Television Show: The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. (7 minutes into the video clip).  

Sandra was also delighted to personally meet and chat with George Stroumboulopoulos in Vancouver, during the 2010 Olympics.
George - The Hour

Thanks to the Olympic Skeleton Team: World Championship gold medal winner and Olympic bronze metal winner Mellisa Hollingsworth, Amy Gough,  Mike Douglas, Olympic gold medal winner Jon Montgomery and coach Kelly Forbes as well as writer Terry Bell for mentioning Sandra in the news.

Montgomery slides to skeleton gold
"Members of the Olympic Skeleton Team consulted with British Columbian shaman Sandra Molendyk to receive some spiritual guidance, and to have their sleds blessed." (Lattimer Gallery)

Turtle and Thunderbird HelmetClose up on helmet

Feb 20, 2009
I am very pleased to find myself mentioned in the tasteful Lattimer Gallery blog. My sincere thank you. Gold Medal Winning 'Turtle and T-Bird' Helmet.

February 17 2009
I am deeply honoured by Mellisa Hollingsworth and Jon Montgomery mentioning my name and work during a press conference. Thank you so much. Good luck to you both in the 2010 Winter Olympics! I am so excited for you both as well your team.

Thank you also to CanWest sports writer Terry Bell, for mentioning this to me.
Link to online article.

Thank you to Kelly Forbes for inviting me out to the Skeleton Retreat in Revelestoke.

Skeleton team leaves no shaman stone unturned

By Terry Bell, Canwest Olympic Team         February 17, 2010 7:02 PM

A file photo of Canadian skeleton team members Jon Montgomery, left, and Mellisa Hollingsworth.

Photograph by: Colleen De Neve , Calgary Herald

By Terry Bell - Canwest Olympic Team

WHISTLER -- It may seem odd that a guy whose event is all about speed would have a turtle painted on the front of his helmet.

But Canadian skeleton racer Jon Montgomery isn't about to mess with the wisdom of a shaman.

Last September some members of the Canadian team -- which begins its quest for gold Thursday night at the Whistler Sliding Centre -- visited sport shaman Sandra Molendyk in Revelstoke, B.C.. They had their sleds blessed and built a totem pole and painted it with their own hopes and dreams.

Part of the exercise was to discover their spirit or power animal. Montgomery, an auctioneer from Russell, Man., discovered his spirit animal was a turtle.

"He accompanies me on my helmet and sled," said Montgomery of the turtle.

Montgomery also has the helmet painted in a native theme.

Just before coming to Whistler for the Games, Montgomery had Vancouver native artist Phil Gray do the art work for the helmet. Black Tusk Gallery in Whistler commissioned it. The helmet also has a thunderbird on it.

"The thunderbird is the main theme but it was my idea to put the turtle on the helmet," explained Montgomery after a training run this week.

"This is what I asked for and I'm really happy with what I got. I thought it was fitting to pay respect to the First Nations people and apparently their folklore states that the thunderbird lives up behind Blackcomb Mountain. It's a powerful animal and one of their most prized symbols. I thought it would be good to pay respect to that and honour the people here and have my spirit animal guide me down the track."

Mellisa Hollingsworth, the current leader in the World Cup standings has a horse skull on her helmet but it has nothing to do with sport shamans.

She grew up on a ranch near Eckville, Alta. Horses and rodeo are in her blood.

Hollingsworth also visited the shaman after coach Kelly Forbes had organized the retreat.

"It was awesome, a great getaway weekend," Hollingsworth said. "A lot of it has to do with getting to know yourself, flushing away all the crap inside of you and having peace. You learn more about your soul and spirit.

"We were in search of our power animals and that was kind of a unique experience for me. We were lying on the ground and she was taking us through this meditation and I had all these ants crawling all over me. I'm trying not to move and I don't want to disturb the rest of my team. Then I got thinking about how strong an ant is, how hard they work and the family unit and I guess that's what my power animal is."

Ants, horses, turtles, thunderbirds, wolves, shamans, retreats ... it must be working because the Canadian sliders are have been enjoying a strong World Cup season and are among the favourites here.

Montgomery, who won the World Cup on this track last season and Hollingsworth, a bronze medalist at the 2006 Olympics in Turin and the top ranked slider on the women's World Cup circuit are just glad it's getting close to race day.

"I'm excited to get going," said Hollingsworth, who had the day's fastest women's speed -- 142.5 km/h -- and fastest time -- 53.90 seconds in her fifth and first of two training runs Wednesday. "It's been a great week. It's nice to have the internationals here and see if you're on track or not. I'm definitely happy with the week's training."

Montgomery -- the flying turtle -- has also been blistering the track all week. He hit 142.90, the third fastest speed behind teammate Jeff Pain's 143.0 and 143.9. Montgomery had the fastest time in each training run Wednesday, a 53.09 in the first and a 53.40 in the second.

Latvia's Martins Dukurs, another pre-race favourite, has been impressed by Montgomery's runs.

"He's smashing down," said Dukurs. "He's going down smoking. It's a big advantage for him, this home track. It's a tough track and he has really solid runs. This is the toughest track in the world."

Dukurs was predicting a bit of volatility in these four-run, total time men's and women's events which will both be run over the next two nights.

"I think you could win with four fourth places if you have constant good runs," he said. "Last year at World Cup Jeff Pain was first after the first run and`11th in the second."

Dukurs said he's about 40 runs. Is that enough?

"No," he said with a laugh. "I wish I could slide 150 more."

Montgomery said he's as ready as he'll ever be. He doesn't put much stock in fast training runs

"Everybody's reserved on the push starts," he said. "Martins Dukurs has quite a bit in the bank left. He was what, 11/100th behind me? He could be that far ahead of me after the start tomorrow."

Pain, a silver medalist in Turin who has a raging beaver on his helmet, is tired of training and just wants to race.

"I was at that stage a month ago," he said. Let's just go race. I've never felt more prepared for a race."

The third man on the team -- Toronto's Michael Douglas -- has a plain black helmet.

His spirit animal is the horse. It's a dark horse.

Sport Shaman Sandra Molendyk Interviewed by 1560 The Game

Healing Visionary Sandra Molendyk: Interviewed by Liara Covert

"Thank you Sandra! :) That healing was awesome and made me feel so much more confident about everything. I wish you much happiness in your life as well!!"
Erica June 25, 2008

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