Our Ambassadors and Academy Members

Laureus World Sports Academy and Laureus Ambassadors are select groups of living sporting legends who volunteer their time and influence in support of Sport for Good. These athletes are globally recognized as role models and icons of success in the world of sports and leverage their collective influence to help advance the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

More than 60 of the greatest living sporting legends make up the Laureus World Sports Academy, under the chairmanship of rugby legend Sean Fitzpatrick. They share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, bring people together and improve the lives of young people around the world.

There are over 200 Laureus Ambassadors who are current or retired sportsmen and sportswomen who have achieved sporting greatness or have made significant contributions to the sporting community during their lives. They also share the belief in the power of sport to unite communities and improve the lives of youth.

Laureus World Sports Academy Members (Based in the US)

Edwin Moses

Track & Field

Edwin Moses is a two-time Olympian who won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at both the 1976 and 1984 Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Edwin won 107 consecutive finals and set the world record in his event four times. In addition to running, Edwin has been an innovative reformer in the areas of Olympic eligibility and drug testing, and he serves as Chairman of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). In 1994, Edwin received an MBA from Pepperdine University and was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was elected the first Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Marcus Allen

Football

Over the course of his career, Marcus Allen scored 145 touchdowns, including a then league record 123 rushing touchdowns, and was elected to six Pro Bowls. He was the first player ever to gain more than 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards during his career. Marcus won the Heisman Trophy, an NCAA national championship, the Super Bowl, and was named NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Marcus has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Mark Spitz

Swimming

Mark Spitz is a nine-time Olympic champion and former world record-holder in seven events. Between 1968 and 1972, Mark won nine Olympic gold medals: a silver and a bronze; five Pan American gold medals; 31 AAU titles; and eight NCAA titles. During those years, he set 35 world records — two were in trials and unofficial.

Martina Navratilova

Tennis

With a career spanning four decades, Martina Navratilova is widely regarded as the greatest female tennis player of all time. She won an unprecedented 59 Grand Slam titles, including a record nine Wimbledon singles championships; 167 singles and 177 doubles championships. Martina was the Women Tennis Association’s (WTA) “Tour Player of the Year” seven times, named the Associated Press’s “Female Athlete of the Year,” and was declared one of the “Top 40 Athletes of All Time” by Sports Illustrated. After being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, she continued to compete in WTA events and the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2006, at the age of 50, she became the oldest player to ever win a Grand Slam title as a mixed-doubles champion at the US Open.

 

Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Boxing

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was the undisputed World Middleweight Champion from 1980 to 1987. He made 12 undisputed title defenses and holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions, at 78 percent. He is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and of the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Michael Johnson

Track & Field

Michael Johnson won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals. He formerly held the world and Olympic records in the 200-meter and 400-meter, as well as the world record in the indoor 400-meter. He is the only male athlete in history to win both the 200-meter and 400-meter events at the same Olympics — the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also held the world’s best time at 300-meter. Considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field, Michael was elected to the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004.

Monica Seles

Tennis

The youngest-ever French Open Champion at the age of 16, Monica Seles went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her 20th birthday (nine in total.) She was the year-end World Number 1 in 1991 and 1992.

Nadia Comaneci

Gymnastics

At the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, Nadia Comaneci became the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event. By the end of the 1976 games, she would earn seven perfect 10s, three gold medals, one bronze, and one silver medal. Four years later at the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, Nadia earned two more gold medals and two silver medals, bringing her Olympic total to nine medals — five gold, three silver, and one bronze. In 1996, Nadia was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Tony Hawk

Skateboarding

At age 12, Tony Hawk began winning amateur contests, at 14 he turned pro, and at 16 he was widely regarded as the best competitive skateboarder in the world. By the time he was 25, he had competed in 103 pro contests, winning 73 of them and placing second in 19 competitions. He was crowned Vertical Skating’s World Champion 12 years in a row. Considered one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern skateboarding, Tony was the first skater to land a “900” — a trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions on a skateboard. In 2009, he was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

Laureus Ambassadors (Based in the US)

Chamique Holdsclaw

Basketball

Chamique Holdsclaw is a three-time NCAA Champion, six-time WNBA All-Star, and Olympic Gold medalist. Holdsclaw played for the University of Tennessee finishing her career with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds, making her the all-time leading scoring and rebounder at Tennessee in men’s or women’s history. She was the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in SEC women’s history, and the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in the NCAA tournament women’s history. In 2000, she was named Naismith’s Player of the Century for the 1990s and was part of an ESPY award given to the Lady Vols as Co-Team of the Decade for the 1990s. In 1996, 1997 and 1998, Chamique was named to the Final Four All-Tournament team.

Lance Thomas

Basketball

Currently a forward for the New York Knicks, Lance Thomas won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship with Duke University in 2010. Lance also won a bronze medal playing for the US Basketball Team at the Pan American Games in 2011.

Kelly Clark

Snowboarding

Kelly Clark is a five-time Olympian and a three-time medalist, winning a gold medal for women’s halfpipe at the 2002 Winter Olympics and competing in the halfpipe event again in the 2006 Winter Olympics. She won a bronze medal in the halfpipe in both the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games. Kelly has made 15 X Games appearances and holds six US Open Titles.

Alonzo Mourning

Basketball

Alonzo Mourning holds an Olympic gold medal from the 2000 Olympics and the 2006 NBA Title with the Miami Heat. Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, Alonzo still works in player development for the Heat.

Bob Lujano

Paralympic Rugby

Bob Lujano is an international public speaker who covers the topics of independence, disability, competitive sports, physical fitness, and the benefits of a healthy active lifestyle. He is a member of the Lakeshore Demolition wheelchair rugby team, which has five United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) National Championships (1998–2003). Bob was selected to the US Paralympic Rugby Team, and he won a bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. In April 2014, Bob was elected as the President of the USQRA.

Chris Paul

Basketball

An NBA All-Star point guard, who currently plays for the Houston Rockets, Chris Paul has won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, and two Olympic gold medals. He led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times, being the all-time NBA leader in the latter category. Chris also has been selected to nine NBA All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams, and nine NBA All-Defensive teams. Since 2014, he has served as the President of the National Basketball Players Association.

Danilo Gallinari

Basketball

An Italian professional basketball player, currently playing for the LA Clippers, Danilo Gallinari was picked sixth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. He was selected to the Sophomores team in the 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas. He participated in the 2010 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest at All-Star weekend in Dallas, finishing fourth. Active in the community, he participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders goodwill tour to Senegal, Africa, in August 2010.

Felix Sanchez

Track & Field 

Felix Sanchez is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles, winning gold medals in 2004 and 2012. He also holds the 2001 and 2003 World Championship title in the 400-meter hurdles. Just before turning 36, Felix set the Masters M35 World Record with a time of 48.10. An American by birth, he is of Dominican descent and competed for the Dominican Republic. He earned two of the three Olympic gold medals ever won by an athlete from the Dominican Republic.

Jamie Bestwick

BMX

Competing since 1996, Jamie Bestwick is a dominating force in BMX Vert. He has won a record-breaking nine consecutive Vert titles at X Games before his silver medal finish in 2015. He holds 12 of the 22 BMX Vert gold medals awarded in X Games history.

Mike Jankowski

Skiing and Snowboarding Coach

Known as “Coach Janks, Mike Jankowski has successfully coached athletes to 19 Olympic medals and 20 X Games medals. He is currently the Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air Head Coach, U.S. Snowboard Team

 

Allyson Felix

Track & Field

Allyson Felix is the most decorated track and field athlete in history and the only female track and field athlete to ever win six Olympic gold medals and a total of nine Olympic medals, winning a silver medal in Athens in 2004, gold and silver medals in Beijing in 2008, three gold medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and following it up with two more gold medals and another silver medal in Rio in 2016. The 2012 US Olympic 4×100-meter team set the women’s 4×100-meter world-record that still stands. Allyson is also the most decorated athlete in IAAF World Championships history with 16 career medals. She is a participant in Project Believe, a voluntary drug-testing program which goes beyond the normal drug-testing requirements to protect clean athletes

Missy Franklin

Swimming

Missy Franklin is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the sport of swimming.

At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Franklin earned a gold medal as a member of the 4x200m free relay. The gold added to her medal haul from the 2012 Olympics in London, where she won four gold medals and one bronze medal (gold in the 100m back, 200m back, 4x200m free relay and 4x100m medley relay, and bronze in the 4x100m free relay).

Franklin won six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, becoming the first female swimmer in history to win six gold medals at a single World Championships. In all, she has earned a total of 11 World Championship titles.

Franklin, who was raised in Centennial, Colo., began swimming competitively at the age of five and competed in her first international event at the age of 14. In her two years competing at UC-Berkeley before turning professional, Franklin earned four individual NCAA titles and helped Cal win the 2015 NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Team Championship. She currently lives in Athens, Ga., where she trains under coach Jack Bauerle and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Georgia.

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