Wide Open Spaces

by Emma Bulawka

Wide Open Spaces was created with the root purpose of opening up conversations around elite athletic performance, mental health and body image in sports, especially in figure skating. I, Emma Bulawka, am a Canadian National Senior Woman Figure Skater. I started this podcast to shed light on these topics and issues that often go unseen, specifically in the sports. In each episode, I talk with a variety of people and athletes who ...   ...  Read more

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Evelyn Walsh | Resiliency in the Face of Obstacles

    Evelyn Walsh | Resiliency in the Face of Obstacles

    Evelyn Walsh is a Canadian pair skater, with her skating partner, Trennt Michaud. They are the 2022 Four Continents bronze medalists, three-time Canadian National silver medalists and the 2017 Canadian National junior champions. In this episode, I talk with Evelyn about the importance of elite athletes surrounding themselves with a team that supports, believes and sticks by their side through the darkest of times. In sport, as well as after. Those are your people. She shares some of the highs and lows of this last season and how she handled the added element of potentially qualifying for her first Olympics. She also opens up about her own struggles with not fitting into a certain pair skating ‘mold’ and how after she began working with a sport’s psychologist, her perspectives shifted, which allowed her to tune out self-doubt. We talk about how we, as athletes, can progress and promote longevity and positive body image for women in all sports. And how working with a sport’s psychologist will give you the tools needed to rise from the toughest of obstacles, like both of us have done and continue to do. Please share if you like the episode!

  • Matthew Markell | Making His Mark

    Matthew Markell | Making His Mark

    Matthew Markell is the 2018 Junior Men's Canadian Champion, 2016 Novice National Silver Medallist, and a 3x Senior National competitor. In this episode, he talks about how he first learned to skate in his backyard with his sister in his small town of Prescott, Ontario, to becoming one of the best skaters in Canada. Matt opens up about his experiences with being bullied as a kid for not fitting into the 'masculine mold' and how his persistency, passion and strong family support system got him through his toughest times. Matt shares some of the positive changes he hopes to see for the future generation in figure skating, regarding the rewarding of artistry, emotion and performance in figure skating. I hope you enjoy!

  • My Journey to Figure Skating (Part 1)

    My Journey to Figure Skating (Part 1)

    I am very excited to give you a little glimpse into my life as an athlete so far. This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series about my journey to figure skating.In this episode, I share some unforgettable moments, funny/embarrassing stories and some of the mountains I had to overcome along the way, which have all shaped me into the athlete and person I am today. Give it a listen!

  • Emily Bausback | Finding Herself Again

    Emily Bausback | Finding Herself Again

    Emily Bausback is the 2020 Senior Women’s Canadian Champion, National Team Member and... a beautiful human being, inside and out. Despite injuries, pandemic and a rough road towards her first ever gold medal at the National Championships in 2020, Emily stood tall and overcame adversity in the face of challenges. She just recently announced her retirement from competitive figure skating after an admirable career, filled with highs and lows. In this podcast, we cover everything from our obsessions with Whole Foods to mental health stigmas in figure skating. Emily opens up about her own struggles with mental health and body image these past two years. There is power in stepping into your own vulnerabilities, especially in a society that perceives it as being weak. Definitely worth a listen!