CALGARY -- Kyle Shewfelt knows what it's like to win an Olympic gold medal. He did it at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece, making him Canada's first and only Olympic gymnastics champion.

He also now knows what it's like to be an author.

Shewfelt penned his first book, Make It Happen: My Story of Gymnastics, the Olympics, and the Positive Power of Sport, which hit book shelves last week.

Shewfelt says he lived by the phrase, 'Make It Happen,' in the 2004 games.

"For me it's a really monumental phrase that I used when I stepped onto the floor in Athens on that day when I won an Olympic gold medal," Shewfelt told CTV.

"It was a grounding phrase and it made me feel present. It made me feel ready and it allowed me to just go and let the work do its thing."


The book isn't just about his Olympic triumph. It also talks about some of the obstacles Shewfelt had to face through his life.

It wasn't easy for Shewfelt but he says it was important they be included in the book.

"I had a bully in high school. I had injury and I suffered severe depression when I retired from the sport, and I share all of these things in the hopes that it can open up a conversation and it can be better for the future generation and I think by sharing my story I hope I can help."


Shewelt believes you should never give up on your dreams, no matter what you face in life. He didn't and that's the reason why he's an Olympic champion.

He says you have to be willing to put the work in and you have to be persistent.

"I try to share experience of actually being in the gym and what it felt like to learn that big release skill," Shewfelt said.

"It wasn't just that I learned it, I try to take people into those moments of the three months going up every single day with bleeding hands.  And how that persistence did pay off."


Shewfelt had a great coach and parents that supported him every step of the way. He believes there's a way to get the most out of an athlete. He's also hoping people can learn some things from reading his book.

"The journey needs to be Athlete driven. It needs to be parent and coach supported and that you can read the top of sport in a really positive and nurturing environment," he said.

"I hope that the stories that my coach and parents created in my career, I hop that that really shines off the page and highlights that positive experience."

Shewfelt's book is available at Indigo and Chapters book stores.