Obstacles don’t scare Sarah Wells. As an Olympic hurdler and Pan Am Games silver medallist, this Olympian’s reputation was forged through overcoming challenges, redefining realistic, and achieving the incredible. Take her debut at the London Olympics in 2012, which came despite an injury that had her sidelined for months just the year before. While many reminded her to remain “realistic”, Sarah was strengthening a muscle that people couldn’t see – belief. Sarah knew she should have quit at any point during the injury and everyone would have understood. But, she didn’t. Sarah fought to realize her dream and discovered a strength she never knew she had. By the time she was cleared to return to training, Sarah had fostered an unwavering belief in herself, so strong that it fast tracked her to achieving things she had only dreamed of.



Through experience with both success and heartbreak during her athletic career, Sarah feels especially passionate about discussing the importance of being resilient and the power of believing in yourself.

While training at the highest level, Sarah founded the Believe Initiative – a program helping young people have the courage to believe in themselves by seeking success through pursuit of their passions.

Speaking Programs


Believing in your dreams is one of the most important steps you’ll take in goal setting. While many of us can come up with things we want to accomplish, it is the emotional connection we make with the dream by believing in its possibility that lead us to action and accomplishments. For Olympian Sarah Wells, this belief was mandatory to fuel her Olympic dream after a devastating stress fracture in her leg threatened her chance of making the team. Sarah’s story is one of guts, courage and perseverance. Audiences will leave inspired to dream big and have the courage to believe.

Overcoming Life’s Hurdles

Whatever you goal is, there is a path to take you there. The path won’t always be easy, but the journey will always be worth it. This was certainly true for Olympian Sarah Wells, who has encountered roadblock after roadblock on her path to athletic success. The podium has always been the destination however; it was the challenging moments in-between that made Sarah the champion she is today. In this speech Sarah discusses the importance of positively reframing your mindset, surrounding yourself with the right support, learning to deal with “failure” and relentlessly pursuing through your goals not only to achieve success but also find significance in the obstacles you face.


The school was buzzing long after Sarah was gone. Her presentation was impactful, motivating, and inspiring! So great to challenge the students to set goals, change the world, and believe in themselves! Misti Askew – Teacher – BC District #43

Sarah’s presentation was truly an unforgetable, uplifting, and inspiring experience. Staff and students would not stop talking about it after the event. She has already left the world a better place and I cannot wait to watch Sarah’s story continue both through sport and the incredible chain reaction she has started in others who now believe in their own dreams.  Heather Larson – Teacher – Heritage Glen Public School

Sarah spoke and did workshops for our middle school regional tour.  She was authentic, real and made amazing connections with our students and staff. Her message of overcoming obstacles and that hard work doesn’t always lead to success was strong. It’s how you handle the challenges, obstacles – your resilience, grit, and continuing to work hard that opens up new opportunities and doors that you may not have even known about when reaching for your original goal.  It was exciting to see her growth and improvement as a speaker over the last few years since OASC first saw her too!

Sara Nilles – Executive Director – Oregon Association of Student Councils

Sarah Wells travels from Toronto