- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Guest blogger Riva Warrilow is an intern at the Case Foundation.
With the 2010 Winter Olympics in full swing, the whole world is tuning in to root on compatriots, relive past rivalries and soak in the spirit of international cooperation. Athletes have been training for years for this opportunity and everyone’s got their eye on the gold. Despite intense training regimens, many Olympians have found time in their schedules to work with existing nonprofits or even start their own foundations. Here’s a look at what some of our favorite Olympians are doing to make a difference:
- Hannah Teter, US gold medal snowboarder, started her own foundation called Hannah’s Gold. In conjunction with World Vision, Teter works to build schools and provide clean drinking water to people in Kirindon, Kenya. The project is funded by sales of maple syrup from her home state of Vermont. Although Hannah’s Gold is her main focus, Teter has also been involved as a spokesperson for Boarding for Breast Cancer and pledged to donate the winnings from her most recent snowboarding competition to the relief effort in Haiti.
- Evan Lysacek, currently ranked number two in figure skating worldwide, is involved with the organization Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH). The organization is a nonprofit that teaches girls figure skating as a way to build their confidence and encourage physical fitness. Lysacek first started supporting the organization in 2006 and currently sits on the FSH board. Not only does FSH offer skating lessons and academic tutoring, it also, as Lysacek says, “gives [the girls] another loving and supportive family to nurture their education and athleticism.”
- American Alpine skiing champs, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso recently set aside their friendly rivalry to raise money for Haiti. The teammates coordinated with fellow World Cup Alpine competitors to organize an auction with all proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross. Skiers including Swiss star Didier Cuche and the U.S.’s Bode Miller offered up signed racing bibs to be auctioned off online. Together, the skiers raised over $90,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti. To make your own contribution to the relief effort or learn about other ways to help click here.
- Just two years after receiving a liver transplant, Chris Klug competed at the Salt Lake City Olympics in snowboarding. Klugg was the first and only organ transplant recipient to participate in an Olympic competition. In 2004, he started the Chris Klug Foundation (CKF) to promote organ donation and offer resources to donors and their families. CKF uses a grassroots approach to spread the word on organ donation. The organization also holds events, like the Aspen Summit for Life, a nighttime race aimed at raising awareness and encouraging donation.
- Four-time Olympic gold medal speed skater Johann Olav Koss founded Right to Play in 2003 with the goal of using sports and play to teach children teamwork, conflict resolution and integrity. Since then, hundreds of Olympic athletes have contributed to the organization’s efforts by traveling to the 23 countries where Right to Play is present. There, the Olympians act as Athlete Ambassadors to share their skills and inspire children.
Do you know of other philanthropic Olympians to add to this list?