Podcast series: Sports Talk with John Hancock

CBC’s veteran sports broadcaster John Hancock combs through four decades of contacts and dials up top Canadian athletes and people in the sports world to chat about how sports have shaped their lives

Episodes feature casual conversations with Canadian athletes about their journey through sports

 Tune in to the podcast series, Sports Talk with John Hancock. 

CBC's veteran sports broadcaster combs through four decades of contacts and dials up top Canadian athletes and people in the sports world to chat about how sports have shaped their lives. 

You can hear the podcasts on the CBC Listen website and app or wherever you get your podcasts.

Monique Allain volunteered as a concierge with Team Canada at Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing, Vancouver, Sochi and Rio. She is shown with SIdney Crosby during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. (CBC)

Hear the latest podcast with Monique Allain, former university athlete, coach and sports researcher from New Brunswick.
High performance sports consultant Monique Allain from Fredericton, N.B., on how she learned her early coaching methods were stressing athletes out and what she's discovered about what it takes to be a star athlete. 17:09

Halifax marathoner, runner, coach Freeman Churchill is shown in 1981 Boston Marathon. He clocked 2:34.43 on that day. (Courtesy of Freeman Churchill)

John phones Freeman Churchill -  runner, coach and sport therapist from Halifax, N.S. 
Runner, coach and sports therapist Freeman Churchill from Halifax, N.S., on the evolution of running and why he says this is the perfect time to try it out. 15:30

P.E.I.'s Mark Arendz, gold medallist at the 2018 Paralympics, was also the country's flag-bearer in the Closing Ceremony. ( Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

John chats with Paralymic Nordic star Mark Arendz:

Mark Arendz, biathlon and para-Nordic skier from P.E.I., on his success at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang and how losing a race by .7 of a second became a powerful motivator for him. 19:00

Canadian national fencer Kelleigh Ryan talks to John Hancock about her Olympic dreams. (Fencing Canada)
John's interview with Canadian national fencer Kelleigh Ryan:
Canadian national fencer Kelleigh Ryan from Ottawa, Ont., on the string of bad luck her team endured before COVID-19 struck and why she's not giving up on her Olympic dreams. 19:44

Paul Tingley, posing with CBC reporter Colleen Jones, shows off the bronze medal he picked up at the Rio Olympics. (CBC)

John chats with Paralympic sailor Paul Tingley:

Paralympic sailor Paul Tingley from the Halifax area on how he ended up sailing and why an hour-long race can feel like 10 minutes when he's out on the water. 18:30

Olympic and world figure skating champion Kaetlyn Osmond, shown at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and Patricia Benoit Chafe, director of winter sport at Own the Podium, talk to John Hancock about their lives in sport. (Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press; Martin Photography)
John chats with Patricia Benoit Chafe, the director of winter sport at Own the Podium, and Olympic figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond:

Patricia Benoit Chafe, director of winter sport at Own the Podium, on the early years of the Sackville skating club and how she used a PhD in mathematics to help change the sport of figure skating. 14:57

Olympic figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond from Newfoundland on learning to skate at age two and why she decided to retire after so much success. 17:07

Halifax-born Jackie Barrett, who now resides in Newfoundland and Labrador, will be inducted into the Canadian Sports Halls of Fame. He’s among the 2020-21 inductees. (Courtesy of Special Olympics)

John chats with Special Olympian powerlifter Jackie Barrett:
Special Olympic powerlifter Jackie Barrett from Halifax, N.S., on the rush of competing in front of a large crowd and how he is honouring his late mother’s legacy. 12:48

Mike McPhee, of River Bourgeois, N.S., talks to John Hancock about his rewarding hockey career which took him to the NHL and international tournaments. (CBC / NSSHF)

John catches up with former NHLer Mike McPhee:
Former NHLer Mike McPhee from River Bourgeois, N.S, on his journey to playing for the Montreal Canadiens and what it was like to go head-to-head against a Russian team in Moscow. 19:20
Andrew Todd, left, and Kyle Frederickson at the Gavirate ParaRowing International Regatta in Italy in May 2018. They were double gold medallists at the event. (Rowing Canada Aviron)

John chats with Paralympic rower Andrew Todd:
Paralympic rower Andrew Todd from Dartmouth, N.S., on how he used rowing as a tool for recovery and the hurdles he overcame to defend a world championship title in 2019. 16:26
Charlottetown's Lyndsay Doyle recently did a photojournalism project on women in sport. (Lyndsay Doyle Photography)

John catches up with photographer Lyndsay Doyle:

Photographer Lyndsay Doyle from Charlottetown, P.E.I., on the women in sport who inspire her and why she wanted to highlight their stories in her new book. 15:23
Mark de Jonge won gold and set a world record at the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Moscow. ( / Balint Vekassy (ICF))

John chats with Olympic paddler Mark de Jonge:

Olympic paddler Mark de Jonge from Halifax, N.S., on his quest for balance on and off the water and why he spends his spare time making watches. 17:03
Blayre Turnbull celebrates a goal against Finland during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship preliminary round game. (Jason Kryk / The Canadian Press)

John chats with Olympic and professional women's hockey player Blayre Turnbull:

Olympic hockey player Blayre Turnbull from Stellarton, N.S., on how her hometown instilled her love of hockey and what she hopes for the future of her sport. 13:11
John Hancock talks to Jacob Saunders in Episode 5 of his podcast series. Jacob and his brother Graeme of Chester, N.S., are Olympic sailors.  (Pedro Martinez/Sailing Energy)

John chats with Olympic sailor Jacob Saunders:

Olympic sailor Jacob Saunders from Chester, N.S., on why he was never more than two metres apart from his older brother for many years and the challenges of managing an Olympic campaign at 18. 15:06

"The reason I wanted to do this was to really find out more from these athletes than the 20-second clip you would use in a sportscast," John says.

"It's a chance for them to tell their story and, in many cases, you unearth gems you weren't aware of."

And John wants to hear from you!

Is there an athlete you want to hear from or questions you want asked? You can contact John on Twitter @johnhancockcbc or send him an email

Sports Talk with John Hancock includes chats with, clockwise from top left, NHLer Ryan Graves, gymnast Ellie Black, paratriathlete Kamylle Frenette and curler Brad Gushue.  (Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Colorado Avalanche; Carlos Osorio for CBC Sports; Tommy Zaferes; Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press )

Listen to more episodes: 

  • Ellie Black: Olympic and world gymnast from Halifax, N.S.
Olympic gymnast Ellie Black from Halifax, N.S., on how she overcame her fear of backwards tumbling and why she always eats a banana during competitions.  17:37
  • Ryan Graves: NHLer who played junior hockey in P.E.I. and is from Yarmouth, N.S.
NHLer Ryan Graves from Yarmouth, N.S., on how he learned to stop on skates and why he loves P.E.I. so much. 14:45
  • Kamylle Frenette: Para-triathlete from Dieppe, N.B.
Paratriathlete Kamylle Frenette from Dieppe, N.B., on why she loves the grueling challenge of competing in three sports at once and how she came to accept her disability. 11:06
  • Brad Gushue: Newfoundland's Olympic champion curler
Olympic curler Brad Gushue from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, on how he handled the pressure of the 2017 Brier in front of a home crowd and why he gave up a promising career as a pro golfer. 18:23


Sept. 25 - Greg Joy
: Olympic high jumper from Ottawa, ON
Oct. 2 - Burton Russell: Sports writer from Kentville, NS  
Oct. 9 - Carol Anne Chenard: Soccer referee from Ottawa, ON
Oct. 16 - Alex Faulkner: Former NHLer from Bishop's Falls, NL