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BodyBreak duo speaks at Kelowna sport conference

BodyBreak fitness icons Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod lead guests of the 11th annual Okanagan Sport Leadership Conference to a quick work-out prior to their keynote speech Saturday morning. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
BodyBreak fitness icons Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod lead guests of the 11th annual Okanagan Sport Leadership Conference to a quick work-out prior to their keynote speech Saturday morning.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

It didn't take long for Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod to get guests of the 11th annual Okanagan Sport Leadership Conference keeping fit and having fun.

With BodyBreak theme music playing throughout the Okanagan College Centre for Learning, the audience followed Johnson and McLeod through a brief work-out, prior to the duo's keynote speech.

Although Johnson and McLeod have been speaking about healthy diets and branding for more than 20 years, Saturday was the couple's first speech focused specifically on sport.

"We've realized that sport is tremendous; it's really helped us a lot over the years," said Johnson.

"We realize it gave us everything; it made us who we are—it's why we pursue things the way we do," added McLeod.

The Canadian fitness icons told the crowd about their own sports careers and the journey that led them to create BodyBreak: A 90-second television program focused on fitness and healthy eating that was first shot in the late 1980s.

They explained their experience as athletes has helped them in the business world, has given them strong work ethics and has even kept their relationship strong.

Although Johnson and McLeod are best known for their early days as the stars of BodyBreak, the couple experienced a resurgence in popularity this year when they were selected to participate in the inaugural Amazing Race Canada.

"The Amazing Race showed us in a different light, not just doing our 90-second spots, but (showed) us in real life doing things," said Johnson.

"We felt that we didn't win the race, but we won Canada…we were so warmly received by the Canadian public."

In the first leg of the race, Johnson and McLeod travelled to Kelowna to compete in several tasks. The couple instantly fell in love with the city and, according to McLeod, are seriously considering living in the area.

"It's a process in terms of finding something. When we arrived that first leg of the Amazing Race, within hours, both Hal and I just went, 'Wow, this is great,'" said McLeod.

"We're looking for a playground; what's better than (Kelowna)?"

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

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