Dawn Richardson Wilson’s Tips for Better Days

Bobsledder Dawn Richardson Wilson is standing on the left side of the image, with "Interview with Dawn Richardson Wilson, professional athlete" written to her right.  Below the words, there is an image of the Olympic rings.

In this BITS post, we interview Dawn Richardson Wilson (@just_dawn98 on Instagram), a Canadian Olympic bobsledder. Her Olympic debut was in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. However, before then, Dawn won her first bobsledding race in 2019, and achieved a career-best fourth place finish in Innsbruck in 2021. Aside from training and competing, Dawn enjoys binge-watching TV shows, playing board games, and volunteering to help autistic children during the summer. Dawn shares her advice as a professional athlete, including how to keep going when things get tough and how to have a better day. As teenagers, we can often get caught up and focus only on the negative. Although negative things are often happening, is it important to shift our focus onto the things that are going well and make us happy, and keep pushing forward. With Dawn’s advice, we can discover how to make the best of a negative situation, and find happiness in our difficult days.

In this BIT: Discover advice from professional athlete Dawn Richardson Wilson. She shares her tips for a better day, and motivation for teenagers + more!

Dawn Richardson Wilson for her Small Bits of Happiness interview.  She is standing in front of a dark grey background, she has long black hair, is smiling, and wearing a black collared shirt with "Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton" embroidered on the right side.

SBOH: Many teens compare themselves to others and don’t feel happy with themselves.  Do you ever have days when you are not happy with yourself? Is there anything that you do to change that mindset? 

Dawn Richardson Wilson: In my personal experience, the older, not just an athlete, but in my everyday life, the more I learn about myself, and want to push myself to improve. Sometimes, it is easy to look at where you are now and only highlight the faults. On those days I try not to do is sit too long in those thoughts. I like to redirect my focus to what I have been doing now that I am proud of, what are parts of me that I love? Because no one is you and that is your power. Once you find your power, you should capitalize on it. It’s natural to go through these emotions; not every day will be your best day, but you have to bring your best effort each day. 

Dawn Richardson Wilson entering a bobsled in the Beijing 2022 Olympics

Credit: Olympic.ca

SBOH: When your season was cut short due to a concussion, what gave you hope and helped you feel happiness? 

Dawn: That was a tough time. I won’t sugarcoat it; there were days when I did nothing. Still, from doing nothing, I realized that this was my body letting me that know to perform and get back to chasing that dream, I had to allow myself to rest. That rest is also an essential part of training that many, including myself, overlook. From that rest, I was able to rediscover some of the hobbies I’d been too busy to do (baking, piano, learning new languages and binge-watching my favourite shows).

SBOH: How can you turn a negative thing, like getting a concussion, into a positive thing?  How can teens do this as well? 

Dawn: Finding the positive in a negative situation is easier said than done. But, still, I will say that taking some time to really analyze the situation, and asking yourself questions can help. Such as: what are some positives that came out of it? What are you proud of about how you handled it? How did this make you a better version of yourself?

SBOH: What are your top 3 tips for teens to have a better day?


1. Find that music that brings out your best mood and get lost in that feeling.

2. Secondly, surround yourself with people who appreciate you and make you smile; build a great support system of people who have your best interest in mind.

3. Last but not least, find a hobby that you enjoy that gives you a break from the stress of growing and discovering yourself. 

Dawn Richardson Wilson for her Small Bits of Happiness.  Dawn Richardson Wilson standing in a gym.  She has long, black hair, is on the right, wearing beige leggings, a black t-shirt, electronic watch, and smiling.  She is leaning on a large green weight.

SBOH: What gives you a small bit of happiness everyday? 

Dawn: Just chatting with my best friend. Even if our conversations don’t really lead anywhere, knowing that I can be my authentic self around her without fear of being judged. 

SBOH: What are some words you live by or an inspirational quote? 

Dawn: “Every Step is progress no matter how big or small they may be”. Another one is “Being yourself is never something you are ever going to regret”.

Two chocolate brownies on a white plate, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  The ice cream, brownies, and plate are drizzled in chocolate syrup.

SBOH: What food gives you a small bit of happiness?

My favourite snack that brings me a bit of happiness is a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream.

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

We hope that these tips give you a small bit of happiness and motivate you to keep going when times are tough.


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