Montgomery's Power Animal Wins Gold Medal for Canada

Photograph by: Oliver Lang, AFP, Getty Images, Canwest Olympic Team; Canwest News ServiceWow…just when I thought that power animals might be “too weird” for the mainstream, I saw the Olympic headlines this weekend about Jon Montgomery, Canada’s pride and joy, gold medalist in the skeleton event.

Montgomery, the skeleton gold-medal winner for Canada, credited his power animal – a turtle – for his success in his medal-winning race. He had his turtle painted, along with a thunderbird, on his helmet to help him win his skeleton race.  He got the idea after a team retreat with sports shaman (who knew there was such a thing – and Canadian to boot! –, who asked him to look inside and find his power animal.  Montgomery found a turtle, and what power his power animal gave him.

It is still blowing my mind that he came out in public and credited his turtle for his success in winning the gold medal.

Terry Williams, Canwest News wrote in the Edmonton Journal, on February 18, 2010:

“…Part of the exercise was to discover their spirit or power animal. Montgomery 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 artwork for the helmet. The image of a thunderbird is prominent.

“The thunderbird is the main theme, but it was my idea to put the turtle on the helmet,” Montgomery said.

“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.”

Montgomery’s experience is a fantastic example of how tapping into the strengths of your power animal can draw out your best qualities.

The turtle, which is Jon’s personal power animal (some call this a totem animal), gave him the strength to bring out the very best of himself, to help him win the gold medal.  Some of the symbolic meanings of the turtle are: strength, stability, endurance, patience. These are personal traits which would definitely help in training to achieve the necessary level of excellence needed in order to win a gold medal.

The most important aspect of Montgomery’s connecting with his power animal is, was the connection with the deepest parts of himself.  Knowing himself in such a deep way allows Montgomery to dig down to the deepest parts of himself.  That connection allows him to reach for the best of himself, in any particular moment.  This connection with a power animal, helps any person, in any endeavour, do their absolute best.

Montgomery’s admission paves the way for the rest of us to bring our power animals into our everyday lives.

Personally, I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of my co-workers when I walk in a meeting with a crow headdress on….and a giant dragonfly painted on my briefcase.

If you haven’t found your own power animal yet, once you become a subscriber, you automatically get the free guided meditation to find your own power animal.

Yay, score one for the power animals!


Want to find your power animal to harness your Gold-medal winning potential?  Want to connect with your power animal more deeply through a journey, and see how you it can make you as successful as Jon Montgomery?  Email me at, for my next available appointment.

Copyright 2010 :: Kara Thompson

Photograph by: Oliver Lang, AFP, Getty Images, Canwest Olympic Team; Canwest News Service

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9 Responses to Montgomery's Power Animal Wins Gold Medal for Canada

  1. P.A.T.C. says:

    How could I have missed that , I thought I have been following the Olympics, what a wonderful story! I know personally Turtle shows up to remind me that I need to persevere and be more determined. I love turtle and her wonderful energy! What an awesome story!Thanks for posting it.

  2. conduitofjoy says:

    I thought it was a great victory for power animals everywhere too! :) Thanks for the comment.

  3. Christine says:

    That’s so interesting to hear, I wonder how many athletes are out there that use shamanic healing. Good for him for coming out in the open about that. Actually yesterday I went to a shamanic drumming circle here, and we were supposed to find our power animals. Before I always saw mine as the coyote, but since that animal doesn’t exist here, it was time to find a new one, and it turned out to be a lynx.

  4. conduitofjoy says:

    Hi Christine,

    Lynx, that’s great! Usually you have one main power animal, and perhaps a couple of secondary ones, and sometimes others that just come to help you with specific issues….

    Now you must honor that power animal as much as you can. I would recommend researching it as much as possible, looking up myths about, imagine yourself in Lynx’s body…

    If you sign up as a subscriber to this blog you get a guided meditation for finding your power animal. Later this month I’ll also be adding an audio guided meditation.

    Even if you already know your primary power animal you can always do the meditation to find secondary ones (most people have about 3, including me).

    I guess I should do a post about power animals!! :)


  5. Christine says:

    The more I read about the Lynx the more I realize how much like it I am. I’ll add you to my blogroll!

  6. conduitofjoy says:

    Thanks very much! I’ll add you to mine as well.

  7. conduitofjoy says:

    Definitely! I would really appreciate a link, and I love the topic, so I’d love to see the message spread out too. Thanks!


  8. Kelly says:

    I love it! And what a gorgeous helmet… I wear a jade turtle pendant, but I’m considering painting myself a helmet, too. You know, for wearing out to the supermarket, etc. hee. I think you should go for the crow headdress and start a new trend.

    I’m going to trawl through your site now and see what other juicy tidbits I can glean! Thanks for showing up at my blog, Kara. It’s nice to meet you.

  9. conduitofjoy says:

    Thanks for coming! I look forward to your input.

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