December 23, 2016 10:41 pm

Olympian inspires Calgary students through mentorship program

WATCH: 2-time Olympian Monique Sullivan treasures time with students through Classroom Champions.

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Monique Sullivan is a two-time Olympic cyclist who has been working with a Calgary elementary school in a year-long program called Classroom Champions.

Sullivan has shared advice on goal-setting and chasing dreams with grade four and five students at Keeler elementary in Forest Lawn.

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Every month Sullivan has gone into the classroom or sent videos to cover topics like perseverance and community. The students she has worked with were so inspired by the program that they made cards and blankets for the homeless.

READ MORE: By the numbers: Alberta well represented at 2016 Rio Olympics

But Sullivan believes she might actually be getting more out of the program than the kids are.

In an interview with Global News, Sullivan shared how she turned to the kids for inspiration at the recent Olympic games in Rio.

“(I had) three events over three days, and the first two events went really bad. I was in a really bad place and I actually didn’t know how I was going to get up and go and race on the third day,” said Sullivan. She said she ended up just picturing the kids she was mentoring being there with her, and turned to them for strength and inspiration.

READ MORE: Canada’s Sullivan wins gold in women’s track sprint at Pan Am Games

“On that day I couldn’t really race for myself, and so I raced for them.”

“I actually just pretended to be the role model I wanted to be for them, until I was able to get into the right head space,” Sullivan said.

The 28-year-old Olympian is not sure what she will do next in her career, but she is sure she will be continuing with Classroom Champions.

“I almost feel bad because it feels like I am getting more out of it then they are.”

With files from Brendan Parker

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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