The Olympics are an opportunity for athletes from around the world to showcase their elite talents, abilities, and skills in front of TV audiences of billions of people. They are exciting, awe-inspiring, and fascinating to watch.
This Media Monday showcases Olympians that deserve the spotlight for something more than just their athletic abilities. Click on the links below to read about athletes and fans that used the platform of the Olympics to teach us all about courage, respect, care for others, and justice.
- Feyisa Lilesa: This marathon runner for Ethiopa risked his very freedom by using his silver medal finish to bring attention to the plight of and stand in solidarity with the Omoro people and to protest the Ethiopian governments persecution of the Omoro. Read more about his story at CNN.
2. Nikki Hamblin (New Zealand) and Abbey D’Angostino (USA): These 5,000 meters runners were both awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal, otherwise known as the International Fair Play Committee Award, which has only been awarded 17 times in Olympic history. They were given this award for the sportsmanship they displayed after they collided with each other in the finals of the race. Read the full story here.
3. Liz Willock: This Uber passenger showed us that a small action by an unknown person can have a large impact on others. Willock was making conversation with her Uber driver, Ellis Hill, when she learned that his son was going to be representing Team USA in the shot put and that he couldn’t afford to go watch his son. Willock was not content with this, and started a GoFundMe page that raised enough money to send him to Rio. Read more here.
4. Yursa Mardini and Rami Anis (swimming); Pople Misenga and Yolande Bukasa Mabika (Judo), Yiech Pur Biel, Yonas Kinde, Paulo Amotun Lokoro, James Chiengjiek, Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, and Rose Nathike Lokonyen (track and field): These members of the first ever Olympic refugee team overcame immense challenges, suffering, and grief and have all shone light on the crises faced by the millions of refugees that exist in the world. Read more about them here.
I think there is something that we can all take away from the actions and stories of each one of these inspiring people. Have a great week!