Today, we’re launching our Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 campaign, inspired by accomplished athletes who are achieving athletic greatness, and stepping up for good to make a positive impact in their communities.
We’re debuting two new films and a documentary-style series that celebrates athletes who are leading with love through acts of good. In “Love Leads to Good” we see the impact parents have in those quiet moments of teaching over a lifetime that develop a child into a champion – as an athlete – and as a good human being. “Your Goodness is Your Greatness” shines a spotlight on Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are competing at the highest level of sport and doing acts of good every day – showing that the true measure of greatness is goodness. And the “Good is Gold” film series tells moving stories of athletes as they take action against bias and inequality.
When the dreams of athletes were put on hold last year due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020, we were inspired as they moved beyond their own disappointment and stepped up to help others and serve their communities. And after seeing all the good Olympic and Paralympic athletes are doing, we created the Athletes for Good Fund to enable athletes to achieve even more positive change. Today, we’re announcing the recipients of the Fund, developed in partnership with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, which provides more than $500,000 in grants to the charitable causes athletes support in the areas of Community Impact, Equality & Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability.
Here are some of the amazing and inspiring stories of the athletes who are doing good in their communities and showing the world what it means to lead with love through acts of good.
Simone Manuel, Swimming, USA: The Conscious Kid
Simone is an outspoken advocate for challenging racial stereotypes in competitive swimming. She has consistently used her platform to educate her followers on how to be actively anti-racist, amplify Black voices, and encourage all people to dream big and beyond stereotypes. Simone works with The Conscious Kid as part of her efforts to increase equity among children. The Conscious Kid is an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth.
Kim Daybell, Paralympic Table Tennis, Great Britain: National Health Service (NHS)
Kim, a two-time Paralympian, completed his medical studies in 2018. Last year he was due to start training full time to prepare for Tokyo, but instead returned to work full time with the National Health Service as a doctor managing COVID-19 patients in a London hospital. He has been working 40-60 hours each week in the hospital, while still staying mentally and physically fit for his continued journey on the road to Tokyo 2020.
Pamphinette (Pam) Buisa, Rugby, Canada: SOLID Outreach
Pam teams up with SOLID Outreach to provide peer-based health education and support services to reduce the harms associated with drug use. As someone deeply passionate about empowering others, amplifying others' voices, and fighting for social justice, Pam is proud to support an organization that pushes for equality and builds a culture of care and consent. She believes that SOLID’s impact shapes how the community should work together and improve the lives of those who may not be valued within society.
Jamal Hill, Paralympic Swimming, US: Swim Up Hill
Jamal started Swim Up Hill to provide greater inclusion for swim education in the U.S. in an effort to prevent senseless, accidental drownings. His foundation has developed a method to teach swimming techniques from home using everyday objects, enabling children - and adults - to build basic swimming skills even without access to a pool. Jamal’s goal is to teach 1 million people to swim, starting with his home city of Los Angeles with a view to expand equity in swimming worldwide.
Helen Maroulis, Wrestling, USA: When We Band Together
Following a visit to a refugee site in Lesvos, Greece, Helen was inspired to help so she teamed up with When We Band Together, who is opening a Sports and Wellness center to help provide individuals with ways to find purpose and growth, as well as a sense of belonging and community. The Wellness Center will host an array of programs, including (but not limited to): mindfulness, group and private therapy, martial arts, fitness, and field sports. One of their key principles is that many of the programs are “by refugees, for refugees.” Instructors and teachers often come from the refugee community.
Melissa Stockwell, Paralympic Triathlon, US: Dare2Tri
Melissa founded Dare2Tri to help people with disabilities train for and complete in triathlons. Having experienced firsthand that she could still have a thriving, active life with her disability, she wanted to help other para athletes have that same realization that they are not defined by their disability. Dare2Tri not only provides encouragement and support for para athletes, but they remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from athletics, such as helping provide adaptive equipment and year-round coaching.
We are honored to celebrate these and the many other athletes who are demonstrating what it means to Lead with Love through acts of good every day.