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Beyond Competition: Athletes as Champions of Social Change


Programming Partner: Laureus Sport for Good



  • Impacting the lives of more than 6 million people, Adam Fraser explains the efforts of Laureus Sport for Good, with the main motivation being to use sport to change the world for the better. Uniting people in a way that nothing else can, sports provide a unique opportunity to connect, unite, and inspire youth far and wide.   
  • As his 15th year in the NBA, Chris Paul remarks that having the ability to affect people’s lives in a positive manner is why he keeps doing what he’s doing. Explaining that it’s what you do off the court that has true impact, rather than the amount of shots you make or races you run. 
“It’s all about community and doing it together,” Chris Paul
  • Agreeing with Paul, Michael Johnson discussed his perspective as being more than just an athlete. Kids can be given hope through representational leadership and empathy, and Johnson is proud to be that for some children.
  • “An ultimate role model is someone who has been through similar situations and pulls themselves up to succeed in overcoming challenges,” Michael Johnson
  • Joining The Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka, Missy Franklin Johnson remarks on the swim clinic that occured in a new community pool with local youth. Being part of something like Laureus, Johnson is proud to use her platform for good. Laureus supports a wide variety of programs and seeks to truly make a difference no matter how big or how small, ultimately using sport for good regardless of the size of the impact. According to Johnson, sport has the power to change racial and gender inequality, as it has the ability to bring people together. It’s the impact you have outside the court or the pool that shapes the world.
“On gender discrimination, I am a firm beleiver that sport has the power to change the world. We need to come together as human beings and understand each other, and sports let us do that,” Missy Franklin Johnson

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Sports play an unparalleled role in inspiring connectivity and unity, and have the ability to drive progress towards racial and gender equality.


Session Speakers