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Lisa Bentley ‘honoured’ to join CBC team for Tokyo Olympics

February 13, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ROBERT BELARDI

Caledon resident and eleven-time Ironman champion Lisa Bentley will return to CBC as a commentator for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.  

The triathlon star was part of the CBC team in London in 2012. She will work in Toronto at the studio, through the duration of the tournament.

 She says this is an honour to be a part of the Olympics once again. 

Bentley said, “I love what I do. I love getting into commentary and I love speaking.” 

She added, “I get to learn about sports and I find that really interesting. I am very honoured to be a part of this team and to really, get involved. I mean we all get involved every time the Olympics come around, but I really get involved. You listen a little bit more closely and watch a little bit more intently. So, yeah, I’m pretty excited.” 

Bentley is a motivational speaker, author and former high school teacher at St. Francis Xavier Secondary School in Mississauga. She says she began motivational speaking back in grade school and was asked throughout her career, to inspire others, including the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs; one of the proudest moments she has experienced. 

Her book “An Unlikely Champion”, released almost two years ago, is an inspiring story on how someone can win in life, despite facing mercurial changes that can positively or negatively impact a mindset. 

It was in University, when Bentley’s story truly began. She was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It was a life changing event that Bentley, at the time, said she didn’t think too much of. 

She did not want to tell anyone about her diagnosis so as to not join the seemingly endless list of “sad stories in sports”. She persevered and continued to race with it. Fans only saw a strong athlete that competed hard for her country. On the inside, in her mind, as the years went by, she questioned whether to tell the world. 

In 2002, she won her second Ironman champion. She didn’t feel happy. Was it the performance? Was it the anomaly? 

“I realized, it is because I needed more than a win, I needed to have a meaning to the win. That was when I realized, I can really bring hope to people who have CF.” 

The thrill of competing courses through an athlete’s veins, acting as their own personal form of adrenaline. Bentley learned to transform her condition into motivation. Using her gentry, she showed people who suffer from this condition, there is hope. 

“You know I say that; Cystic Fibrosis was a gift. And I believe, you know, I really believe, that it helped me win races.” 

One race in particular, was her victory in Australia. Another competitor elbowed her in the eye and Bentley lost her goggles, giving her a black eye in the process. Her foot was causing her issues and she lost her nutrition on the bicycle. 

With the odds against her, Bentley won the competition. 

“It seemed to be one curveball after another and that is my definition of being a champion. When you take those curveballs and you make them benefit you. That doesn’t mean winning, you find a way when there’s no way.” 

For any motivational speaking inquires, Bentley can be reached through the speaking and contact tabs on her website lisabentley.com. 

Triathlon athletes will finish their qualifying in May before being selected to represent Canada. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 24th, 2020. 



         

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